Belarus opposition developing small business and civil society support framework

The Belarusian opposition intends to set up a special programme to render assistance to the country’s small business and civil society, politician Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya said on her Telegram channel.

The programme envisages allocating at least $70 mln for supporting Belarusian small business as well as providing financial aid to victims of post-election repressions (at least $50 mln).

The opposition activists are going to allocate $10 mln for backing independent trade unions, and $20 mln for developing educational programmes for the Belarusians who were persecuted on political grounds.

According to education advisor Volha Shparaha, they are also working out support packages for students and teachers on whom the Belarusian authorities exerted pressure over their civic-mindedness.

Tsikhanouskaya urges EU to introduce economic sanctions

For over three months, post-election protests have been underway in the country; the major demands of Belarusians are Lukashenka’s resignation; holding a free and fair election; releasing political prisoners; putting an end to police violence as well as bringing to justice those involved in battering and torturing peaceful demonstrators.

According to estimations by independent media, around 29,000 people have been detained across the country since August, 9. Many of them were beaten, some were raped. There are at least seven death cases that are linked to the post-election protests. Hundreds are parties to criminal proceedings, the number of political prisoners exceeded 140.

Several thousand detainees filed complaints against police officers’ illegal actions to the Investigative Committee. However, not a single criminal case has been opened over the citizens’ appeals.

100 days of Belarusian protest