On World NGO Day and the Day of Crimean Resistance to the Russian Occupation, we, the undersigned, call for an end to the persecution of journalists and NGO activists in Belarus and the Crimea.
We call for solidarity with journalists and human rights campaigners in Belarus and Crimea who are being persecuted by the Belarusian and Russian authorities.
We condemn the use of force and repression against those working in the media and civil society in Belarus and in particular, against the Belarusian Association of Journalists.
We express our support for Kateryna Andreeva and Daria Chultsova from BelsatTV, who have been given two year prison sentences, simply for carrying out their professional work as journalists.
We demand the immediate release from prison of all journalists and civil society activists in Belarus - they are being held illegally.
We call for solidarity with Crimean Tatar citizen journalists and activists of the Crimean Solidarity movement.
The criminal prosecution of independent journalists and activists by Russian security forces, the Russian authorities and courts, and the pro-Russian "administration" is a direct violation of freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and freedom of peaceful assembly.
We demand the immediate release of imprisoned Crimean Tatar civic journalists Server Mustafayev, Timur Ibragimov, Marlen Asanov, Seyran Saliyev, Remzi Bekirov, Ruslan Suleimanov, Osman Arifmemetov, Rustem Sheikhaliyev, and the release of Amet Suleimanov from house arrest.
We call on international institutions and human rights organizations to increase pressure on the authorities of Belarus and the Russian Federation to restore human rights in Belarus and the Crimea (Ukraine).
OLGA KOSTUKEVIC, New Europeans Minsk
TETYANA PECHONCHYK, Head of the NGO Human Rights Centre Zmina
LINA KUSHCH, First Secretary, National Union of Journalists of Ukraine
OLIVIER VÉDRINE, New Europeans Kiev
ANNA ZAFESOVA, Deputy Head of Service, La Stampa
EKATERINA ZIUZIUK, Associazione Bielorrussi in Italia Supolka