on the occasion of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s visit to the United States of America

Minsk, Belarus
18 July 2021

To: Vice President, President of the Senate, Kamala D. Harris,
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi,
Members of the United States Congress

Dear Vice President and President of the Senate Kamala D. Harris,
Dear Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
Honourable Members of the U.S. Congress,

In connection with the visit of the national leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya to the United States, which started on 18 July 2021, we, the members of the Coordination Council of the Republic of Belarus (CC), declare that we consider this event fundamentally important for strengthening the guarantees of independence and sovereignty of our country, as well as for the further development of friendly relations between the Belarusian and American peoples.

We express our deep gratitude to the United States for your strong support of the aspirations of the Belarusians for democracy and the rule of law after the rigged presidential elections in August 2020. We also confirm the readiness of the Coordination Council as a legitimate body recognized by the Belarusian citizens, U.S. Congress and European Parliament to participate together with the Office of Sviatlana Tsikhanovskaya, National Anti-Crisis Management and all interested representatives of civil society in Belarus in conducting a national dialogue to resolve the deep political crisis in our country.

In conditions when the people of Belarus no longer have legitimate authorities representing their interests, the members of the Coordination Council, speaking on behalf of the Belarusians, insist that such a dialogue should be organized through the mediation of the international community, incl. OSCE, in compliance with the demands of the citizens to release all political prisoners and drop all politically motivated charges, as well as end massive repression and prosecute those responsible for human rights violations. We assume that following from the results of the inclusive dialogue, free, fair and transparent presidential elections will be held in Belarus.

We recall that the Coordination Council is under the threat of being recognized as an extremist formation. Five of its members are in prison on false charges. Maria Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak, members of CC Presidium, can be imprisoned for up to 12 years; they are charged with a conspiracy or other actions committed with the aim of seizing state power, part 3 of Article 361 (Calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security of the Republic of Belarus) and Part 1 of Article 361-1 (Creation of an extremist formation or participation in it) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. Ksenia Lutskina, Alana Hebremariam and Ales Bialiatski, members of the main body of the Coordination Council, are also political prisoners.

In July 2021, the illegitimate authorities of Belarus are carrying out a purge of the independent press, human rights, and independent non-governmental organizations. We receive daily news about new sentences and arrests. We ask the Congress for a constant and timely response to the intensification of the repressive actions of the Lukashenka regime, as well as support of the Coordination Council.

We are confident that Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s visit to the United States will give an additional impetus to the efforts of the Belarusian civil society to build a new independent state based on the democratic expression of the will of citizens and compliance with international obligations, including unconditional respect for human rights, which will make Belaurs a responsible member of the world community.

On behalf of the Coordination Council 

Siarhei Dyleuski,
Member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council
Representative of the Workers Striking Movement

Volha Kavalkova,
Member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council
Co-Chair of the Belarusian Christian Democracy

Pavel Latushka,
Member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council
Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management

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