16 July: Belarusian Solidarity Day
From 15 -17 July the G8 Summit is taking place in St. Petersburg, Russia. Leaders of the most developed countries of the world will be discussing vitally important issues at this meeting. Russia, which is hosting the Summit, is the only country of the G8 which has recognized the results of the presidential elections in Belarus. Other countries considered the elections to have been undemocratic, rigged, and accompanied by human rights violations.
At the present time 12 Belarusian political prisoners are serving sentences in prisons and penal colonies. Dozens of opposition activists face criminal prosecution. The Belarusian authorities are still refusing to investigate the cases of the disappeared opposition leaders and a journalist.
We call upon Belarusian citizens to come to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Minsk (Staravilenskaya, 48) on July 16 at 6 p.m. and bring candles and portraits of the disappeared and political prisoners.
We call upon Belarusians living abroad and all friends of our country to gather outside Russian embassies in their countries demanding that Russia stop supporting the Belarusian dictatorship.
We hope that a meaningful and businesslike discussion regarding human rights violations in Belarus will take place at the G8 Summit.
For yours and our freedom
The initiative to hold Days of Solidarity began after the police dispersed a protest meeting in memory of those who had disappeared on 16 September 2005, and seized pictures of the politicians who vanished, as well as national flags. On that day one of the Zubr leaders Nikita Sasim raised his denim shirt to replace the flag as a symbol of resistance to the dictatorship.
Since then actions in solidarity have been held both in Belarus and throughout the world on the sixteenth day of each month. Candles of Solidarity with political prisoners, with the families of murdered opposition leaders, with journalists of independent newspapers which have been closed are lit for freedom and democracy all over the country and in many other countries of the world.