Resistbot Petition: Designate Belarus for Temporary Protected Status

An open letter to the President & U.S. Congress

Designate Belarus for Temporary Protected Status

678 so far! Help us get to 1,000 signers!

Belarusians returning to Belarus from abroad face ongoing politically motivated persecution and need the protection of the United States. The ongoing large-scale political turmoil in Belarus and the subsequent Russian invasion of Ukraine from the territory of Belarus increased the Lukashenka regime’s hostility and scrutiny towards Belarusians with connections to foreign states. Human rights abuses in Belarus are documented in detail by numerous human rights organizations. The regime has used violence and brutal repression to suppress the democratic movement, imprisoned tens of thousands, and drove over 300,000 Belarusians into exile. All independent media, non-government, and cultural organizations have been outlawed and disbanded; elections of local officials have been suspended; voting abroad has been canceled; unconstitutional legislation has been adopted targeting political exiles with deprivation of citizenship and trial in absentia. As the Lukashenka regime became a co-aggressor in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, citizens of Belarus protesting the war in Ukraine have been arrested, tortured in police custody, and sentenced to imprisonment. The regime signed amendments to Belarus’s criminal law introducing the death penalty for “attempted terrorism” to target anti-war activists. The ongoing war adds the risk of military conscription and mobilization, drawing Belarusians into participation in active combat and complicity in Russia’s war crimes. Until the rule of law is restored and the democratic principle of governing is reestablished in Belarus, Belarusians in the United States cannot safely return to their home country. We urge the U.S. Congress and the Secretary of Homeland Security to extend temporary protected status to Belarusians in the United States.

▶ Created on April 9, 2023 by Belarus Freedom Forum

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