The International Day of Solidarity with Belarus 2015
Seven countries around the world celebrated the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus on August the 4th. Human and civil rights activists, as well as other people who are simply sympathetic with the citizens of Belarus and who share deep concern about their future, took part in online discussions, talked to people on the streets and posted various material in social media in order to raise awareness of countless violations of human rights in Belarus.
"This year we have started a new project involving Belarusian human rights activists and journalists for the action of International Solidarity. It is essential for us to show that there is always a place for support and cooperation, even in such a complicated situation as we can see in Belarus. The range of actions taken by Belarusian activists is rather limited, they focus on Azerbaijan, Crimea, conflicts in Osha and Georgia," said Lada Burdacheva, one of the coordinators of the Day.
Vilnius started the Solidarity Day with an organized parade of people holding photos of Belarusian political prisoners. Belarusian Human rights activists went to the Square in front of the local Rathaus, where they asked passers-by to sign postcards for the political prisoners of Belarus and pleaded with them to think about the problems of their neighbour.
Warsaw, Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Shimkent organized showcases of films that concentrate on acute topics for the Republic of Belarus - capital punishment, forced disappearance of politicians and journalists, prohibition of dissidence, etc. Speakers included Olga Salomatova, a member of the Helsinki Group, Nadezhdin Draginja, head of the Amnestz International Polska, Dmitry Makarov, a representative of an Human Rights in Belarus observation group, along with Raisa Mikhailovskaya, head of the "Belarusian Documentation Centre", Olga Zavadskaya, mother of Dmitry Zavadsokoz, who went missing in 2000, Julia Khlashenkova, representatative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Mikhail Mazkevich, representative of the Legal Transformation Centre and Andrey Aleksandrov, a reporter.
"Do not let them shoot your rights and freedoms down" - another demonstration in support of Belarus took place in Kiev, not from the Belarusian Embassy. Those willing also signed postcards for political prisoners and placed flowers on the monument of Vladimir Korotkevich.
The Solidarity Day supporters in Alma-Ata, Vevring, Voronezh, Ljvov, Saratov, Murmansk and Kalinigrad took pictures with posters and handed out leaflets with information on human rights violations in Belarus.
According to the organisers of the Solidarity Day, they tried to find and stress the most absurd examples of human rights violations that could be applied to any social group, which they hoped made these examples easier to relate to. Potential targets could be a photographer, a foreigner, a volunteer, an activists, a musician and so on.
A range of similar demonstration have already taken place in France, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia. Not only human rights activists, journalists, politicians and cultural workers shared their photos with posters and special stickers but also ordinary people expressed their support for Belarus.