An open letter to the U.S. Congress

Please help to stop terror in Belarus and release all political prisoners!

1,015 so far! Let’s get to 2,000 signers!

I thank you for voicing your support for the Belarus Democracy Act 2020 and calling on you to use it as a legislative ground for the immediate release of more than 450 political prisoners, who are being tortured and die every month! During last week: On May 21, a political activist Vitold Ashurak died in prison, his body was given to his family with a bandaged face. The official obituary says Vitold had heart disease. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/28/persecuted-jailed-destroyed-belarus-seeks-stifle-dissent On May 23, Ryanair Flight 4978, with a journalist Raman Pratasevich on board, was intercepted in Belarusian airspace by a Belarusian fighter jet and diverted by Belarusian air traffic control to Minsk Airport. Shortly after the landing in Minsk, Protasevich was taken away by Belarusian police. A fellow passenger was reported to have heard Protasevich speak of the possibility of facing the death penalty. After 10 days the Belarusian government TV released an interview where Pratasevich with signs of suffocation on his neck and bloody bruises on wrists, praises Lukashenka and urges the people of Belarus to stop protesting. At the same time, the authorities obstructed his lawyer from visiting Raman. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-57353413 On May 25, a 17-year-old orphan Dmitry Stakhovsky, a defendant in the criminal case for participating in peaceful protests, committed suicide. He left a post on the social networks in which he explains his act under pressure of the criminal prosecution because he participated in the rallies. https://belsat.eu/en/news/27-05-2021-at-least-15-deaths-linked-to-post-election-protests-in-belarus/ On June 2, Belarus activist Stepan Latypov (who was detained last September) stabbed himself in the throat with a pen in a court hearing on protest-related charges. Mr. Latypov addressed his father in court, saying he had been held in a torture cell for 51 days, and warned his father to prepare for a similar fate. He was heard telling his father that the law enforcement authorities had threatened to physically punish him if had not admitted his guilt, and also had promised criminal cases against his relatives and neighbors. https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2021/06/01/belarus-activist-stabs-himself-court-sot-vpx-lead.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/ Since last August, Belarusians have been peacefully protesting over the fraudulent elections and against the ongoing violence. In response, to suppress human rights and freedom of speech, the regime has switched from assault and battery to tortures and murders, increasing the number of detained doctors, teachers, scientists, and others who are against the terror happening in Belarus. Among those are also 7 people aged under 18! I urge for your immediate support to address this outrageous injustice to the governance of the United States and impose sectoral economic sanctions to force Lukashenka to release the political prisoners and end repressions!

First sent on June 5 by Belarusian community in the USA · 47 signers in the past 24 hours

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