Statement on Belarus Freedom Day

On March 25, Belarusian Americans will celebrate Dzien Voli, Belarus Freedom Day, to mark the 105th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and the Sovereignty of the Belarusian Nation. On March 25, 1918, the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic announced its independence from the Russian Empire. The Rada established the White-Red-White Flag and coat of arms Pahonia as national symbols. March 25 became a symbol of the Belarusian pro-democracy movement celebrating freedom, human rights, and resistance to dictatorship and oppression.

On the eve of Belarus Freedom Day, we want to remind you about the catastrophic situation with human rights in Belarus, with thousands of political prisoners, including the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Ales Bialiatski, who was just recently sentenced to 10 years in prison. After the violent crackdown of the 2020 peaceful protests against the fraudulent presidential election results, the Lukashenka regime has nearly perfected a neo-Stalinist repressive system against its political opponents and democratic activists, destroying the Belarusian civil society and independent media. We would like to draw your attention to the disastrous discrimination of the Belarusian-speaking people and the Belarusian language and culture and stress the danger of the annexation of Belarus by Russia. To continue to remain in power, Lukashenka has been trading the independence of Belarus to Russia, integrating Belarus into the Union State with Russia, and has become the co-aggressor in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In light of the above, the Belarusian Americans call on you to join us in solidarity with the people of Belarus and support their democratic aspirations. We underline that free, independent democratic Belarus is vital for the national security of the United States and its transatlantic allies. We urge the United States government to recognize March 25 as the Day of Solidarity with Free Belarus. We ask Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Congress to continue their efforts to develop a comprehensive policy to hold the Lukashenka regime accountable for its gross violations and abuse of human rights, to force the regime to release the political prisoners, and to safeguard the independence and sovereignty of Belarus.