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We don't make promises, we deliver results


Pavel Latushka: Deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, Ambassador

The leader of the  "Latushka’s Team and the Movement for Freedom" coalition responded to questions about "job titles" during the "Grand Political Conference 2024" dedicated to the elections to the Coordination Council.

"These are not about job titles, this is about responsibility, as well as about new criminal cases and new risks.

Running for the Coordination Council, we do so with the weight of our past actions. We want to accomplish even more.

If you want an arrest warrant issued for Lukashenko, vote for us. If you want the situation in Belarus regarding crimes against humanity to be addressed, vote for us. If you want a country to take Belarus to the International Court of Justice over the crimes and violence, vote for us. If you want the sanctions list expanded, support us. file an application with the International Court of Justice about the crimes and violence in Belarus, vote for us. If you want the lists of personal sanctions to be expanded, support us.

We take action, and we get blackmail from the KGB, threats, and criminal charges in response.

I want to appeal to everyone again. We have to understand the difficult situation facing everyone here, including the voters. On one hand, we're fighting for Belarusian votes, which is normal in any election. On the other hand, we witness the regime declaring war on all its opponents, those who are creating an alternative. And at the same time, the regime is doing everything to demotivate Belarusians, to threaten them as much as possible so that they do not participate in these elections.

This is a very specific, unique campaign. No one's here for job titles. These are people who've come to fight. I have great respect for all the candidates.

The crucial thing is grasping that the fate of Belarus is being decided now. We could end up like North Korea if there's a total crackdown, if the borders close, if visas stop being issued.

This is a critical moment for our country and our people. That's why it's so important to vote. Nothing about us should be decided without us."

What can we do?

Mikhail Kiryliuk spoke at the “Grand Political Conference 2024”

Mikhail Kiryliuk spoke at the “Grand Political Conference 2024”

"What's left for Belarusians if peaceful protest is impossible and there are no resources for military confrontation? Just sit and wait for two dictators to die? No, we must do everything we can to bring a free Belarus closer.

They try to convince us that we need to ease the pressure. But we believe that we can't ease it, we actually need to increase the pressure. If we ease off, it will only help the Kremlin and Lukashenko, not the political prisoners. Those political prisoners are the ones who've posed the biggest threat to Lukashenko over the past 30 years. He won't let them go if we ease up.

In the long run, Russia will lose this battle. It's a battle of economies in the long run, and soon we will find ourselves in the situation in which the Soviet Union found itself in 1991. Factors like sanctions, the war in Afghanistan, a bad economy, and a population that lost faith in a better future influenced the collapse of the USSR. Today, the same factors exist, only Russia is much weaker.

And when that happens, Belarus will have a chance to be free. But that depends on getting those political prisoners released and creating a democratic parliament. That would be the start of a whole new chapter.”

Nothing about us without us

Yury Hubarevich spoke at the “Grand Political Conference 2024”.

“For Belarusians, the elections to the Coordination Council represent a serious test of our national maturity. This is our chance to demonstrate to the whole world that the problems facing Belarusians are real, substantive issues that require solutions and international assistance. We need to show that resolving these problems depends not just on our own efforts, but also on the international community which professes democratic values and a commitment to upholding them.

Belarusians have already proven our capacity for solidarity time and again. Just last year, we saw a massive outpouring of support and donations from people across the country and around the world to aid political prisoners – funds were collected literally in a single day. This demonstrated the Belarusian people's ability to come together and support one another.

The program of the “Latushka’s Team and the Movement for Freedom” coalition includes specific proposals for ensuring that international interest and engagement with Belarus not only persists, but grows. Chief among these is the core principle of 'Nothing about us without us' – the idea that Belarusians must have a voice and direct role in determining the country's future.

It is crucial for Belarusians to declare our European orientation, our support for Ukraine, to cultivate a network of strategic international partners for Belarus, and to foster inter-parliamentary cooperation. All of these elements are present in our coalition's program.

Belarusians must be heard at every level, in all international forums and summits where Belarusian issues are discussed. The role of the Coordination Council in this will be absolutely vital.”

How can we release political prisoners?

Aleh Kulesha spoke at the “Grand Political Conference 2024”

“We must create a functional, legitimate Coordination Council that can effectively communicate to the world the following: the release of our political prisoners is inseparable from the liberation of our captured country. It is impossible to free the political prisoners until we liberate Belarus itself.

What should be done to achieve this? It is necessary to effectively exert every effort and resource of the Coordination Council so that the international community accepts sanctions, for the first time, against the fact that political prisoners are subjected to slave labor in penal colonies, and the proceeds of this work are funneled into the arsenal of the Russian Federation.

A difficult issue is the recognition and designation of individuals as political prisoners. This will ultimately lead to the fact that we will no longer have political prisoners. The regime will start placing everyone under home arrest and what will we do then? Home arrest is now just as severe as imprisonment in the penal colonies. It drives people insane. Every minute they live under immense pressure and the understanding that tomorrow they may be taken to prison for a smallest “misconduct”. The authorities will simply change their status and they will be sent to the penal colony.

The Coordination Council must inform the entire world that there are more than 1,500 political prisoners in Belarus.”

In the attached video, you can find more detailed information about the problems faced by political prisoners, the concept of their rehabilitation, as well as the attitude of society towards political prisoners who were repressed before 2020.

 

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