Franak Vyachorka: Time to set precedent for recognizing Lukashenka’s regime as criminal

Franak Vyachorka, Advisor and Head of Foreign Policy. Warsaw, Poland. June 3, 2021. Photo: USH / Belsat

“The most important thing is that we agreed on how to keep Belarus on the agenda during the French presidency of the European Union,” said Franak Vyachorka, Svyatlana Tsikhanouska’s foreign policy adviser. It was during the political leader’s visit to France.

According to Franak Vyachorka, the politicians discussed political pressure on Lukashenka’s regime and options to help the Belarusian society:

“The foreign minister said that new scholarships for Belarusian students would be made available. On the one hand – for the repressed, and on the other hand – to prepare the future Belarusian elites, who would then be able to lead Belarus out of the crisis.”

Vyachorka also says that a plan of overcoming the crisis in Belarus is being worked out:

“While Lukashenka is signing his road map to save himself, we have to look for ways to get Belarus out of the crisis.”

On the criminal cases against the regime’s crimes, he said the following:

“There is already a group of lawyers and a group of human rights activists working in this direction. On the one hand, they are considering the possibility of universal jurisdiction, its tools in France. On the other hand – the preparation of materials for the preliminary investigation. There are several stages in the International Criminal Court or in the International Court of Justice of the UN. There can be one before a tribunal is created, there can be verification. And it takes a country, an institution or an entity to provide documents for that investigation. There’s a group of lawyers working on that. The Belarusian diaspora is very actively involved.”

The advisor said that the process of investigating crimes against humanity is launched in parallel:

“Like in Germany, where the lawyers filed a lawsuit with the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office against Lukashenka for his crimes, a similar process could take place in France. The possibility of recognizing the regime as criminal has been discussed, but there are certain limitations in this direction because there are no such precedents. It may be the right time to create this precedent.”