Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт

US State Department issued a statement: The sham elections were held in a climate of fear

February 25 was a single voting day for the elections* of deputies to the House of Representatives, regional and local councils. Immediately after the closing of polling stations in Belarus, the US State Department issued a statement calling the elections in Belarus fictitious.

"The United States condemns the Lukashenka regime’s sham parliamentary and local elections that concluded today in Belarus. The elections were held in a climate of fear under which no electoral processes could be called democratic. The regime continues to hold more than 1,400 political prisoners. All independent political figures have either been detained or exiled.  All independent political parties were denied registration. Belarusians abroad could vote only if they returned to Minsk, where they would have likely faced reprisals. These abuses have effectively frozen genuine political activities and discourse inside Belarus. The regime prevented the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe from observing the elections, further limiting the transparency that is essential to free and fair elections.

The United States recognizes the strength, resilience, and courage of Belarus’s civil society and democratic movement, which demand a voice in determining their country’s future. The United States again calls on the Lukashenka regime to end its crackdown, release all political prisoners, and open dialogue with its political opponents. The Belarusian people deserve better."