Estonia continues to express concern over the restrictions on peaceful gatherings and freedom of speech ahead of the upcoming presidential elections in Belarus.
In recent days, peaceful protesters, human rights defenders and journalists have been detained. It is regrettable that ahead of the upcoming presidential elections, the authorities of Belarus have not ensured the rule of law nor a competitive political environment, and are obstructing the registration of potential candidates. These disproportionate and unwarranted restrictions are not compatible with international standards.
“It is also regrettable that the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) did not receive a timely invitation from the authorities of Belarus to send an observation mission to the presidential elections on 9 August,” Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said.
We call on the authorities of Belarus to ensure free and fair presidential elections and immediately release the human rights defenders, activists, journalists, political opponents and peaceful protesters, ensuring their fundamental rights.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia