Today marks three years since the Belarusian people overwhelmingly voted against Alexander Lukashenko’s authoritarian rule and in favor of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the main opposition candidate, only to have Lukashenko impose himself by way of fraud and crush the ensuing protests. The wave of repression unleashed by Belarusian officials continues to this day, and no one is off limits — victims include students, mothers, factory workers, and ordinary citizens who couldn’t stay indifferent. Thousands have been imprisoned, and hundreds have been subjected to harsh treatment in prisons.
An independent review by the United Nations found patterns of rampant human rights abuses in Belarus. In March, another investigation found that these systematic abuses likely amount to crimes against humanity and torture. Multiple people were killed by the police.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) has remained committed to supporting the Belarusian people since the start of the protests and, in August 2020, established the Belarus Solidarity Fund, raising more than $1 million so far for those affected by Lukashenko’s repression.
Committed to highlighting the ongoing abuses in Belarus, on June 15, HRF partnered with Belarusian playwright Andrei Kureichik to present “Voices of the New Belarus” — a documentary film highlighting the fate of several Belarusian political prisoners and the scale of repression since the fraudulent elections in August 2020.
The film, which premiered at the 2023 Oslo Freedom Forum, consisted of 16 monologues by Belarusian political prisoners, including Maria Kolesnikova, Ales Bialiatski, Nikolai Statkevich, Marina Zolotova, and Igor Losik. It also features the voices of several actors and professors at Yale University, including scholars Timothy Snyder and Marci Shore.
HRF stands with the Belarusians bravely opposing Lukashenko’s repressive regime. We will continue supporting the victims and expand our programs to help all groups of people targeted by the government.
“Voices of the New Belarus” was created in partnership with HRF’s Belarus Solidarity Fund, which supports pro-democracy advocates and civil society organizations in Belarus. The project is also supported by the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale and the Fortunoff Archive for Holocaust Testimonies of Yale University.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.
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