Stop the repression of Belarusian students and teachers

Stop the repression of Belarusian students and teachers

1 июня 2021 г.
485 partner universities
Подписей: 22 824Следующая цель: 25 000

Почему эта петиция важна

To 485 partner universities (list)

On July 16, 2021, eleven Belarusian students and one university teacher were sentenced to 2 and 2,5 years of prison for peacefully expressing their civic position. It is not the only example of suppressing students rights in Belarus. Since the beginning of the 2020/2021 academic year, more than 1,300 students and teachers have been affected by political repressions:

  • 462 students have been reprimanded for political reasons;
  • 261 students have been expelled for political reasons;

  • 132 have had their rights to scholarships and/or dormitories revoked;
  • 37 students are recognised as political prisoners;
  • 107 faculty members lost their jobs for political reasons.

Sources in the administrations of major universities said that layoffs of teaching staff are taking place across the country. There is an order to fire all those who publicly condemned the violence, participated in rallies or supported the affected students.

The worst thing in this situation is the actions of deans and rectors of Belarusian universities. Since peaceful protests erupted, not a single university has stood up for the rights of its students, with the exception of individual professors.

Even worse — often the university employees themselves become the initiators of repressions: they call riot police on students, submit reports to the police, expel and evict students from the dormitories. Belarusian universities have become a tool for political persecution by the state.

At the same time, most Belarusian universities have foreign partner universities. Universities of Germany, England, the United States, Poland, France and several other countries declare friendly relations with Belarusian universities, which means they implicitly support the actions and share the values of their partners.

We, the signatories of this petition, call upon the partner universities of Belarus to express solidarity with Belarusian students and professors:

  1. Suspend partnerships and any cooperation with universities the administrations of which put pressure on students and faculty because of their civic activism, until political repression are put to an end;
  2. Instead, develop and expand scholarships and independent support programmes for affected students and academics from Belarus, including those who had to leave Belarus for fear of political persecution;
  3. Publicly condemn the violations of human rights and freedoms committed by the administration of Belarusian universities.

If we do not protect Belarusian students, many of them will end up in prison. Support the petition in defence of students and teachers in Belarus.

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Подписей: 22 824Следующая цель: 25 000