EFA condemns oppression of civil society in Belarus

29 December 2010

The European Festivals Association (EFA) strongly condemns oppression of civil society in Belarus. The recent actions in Belarus are a blatant violation of fundamental human rights and speak to the oppressive nature of the regime. Freedom of expression and debate are core values of every enlightened society and should be welcomed by any political leadership that claims to represent its people. EFA supports the International Coalition for Arts, Human Rights and Social Justice, appealing to the European Union, to put all possible pressure on President Lukashenko (who after Sunday's elections has ordered or allowed brutal violence against demonstrators) to immediately release hundreds of prisoners, including activists, journalists, intellectuals, artists and opposition politicians and supporters. Belarus must stop violating human rights. See also: • Timothy Garton Ash in the Guardian • []Simon Tisdall in the Guardian