„I am going to stick a rare stamp on the envelope – it‘s got an European roller on it. Maybe they‘ll pass you my letter beause of it. Pretty please! Rollers were once common birds in Belarus, they were beautiful, like birds that live in the tropics, but now they‘ve alsmost disappeared.“ – AU
Beginning of 2023 we have assisted relocating Pflaumbaum, the last free Belarusian publisher to Lithuania. Today we are relieved to welcome the editor in chief of Pflaumbaum to safety. To exile. We can now make it public. It is important to make it public.
Freedom of speech is a corner stone of any civil society, the back bone of a democracy. Since the human rights crisis began to unfold in 2020, the Belarusian authorities have conducted a policy of systematic persecution of human rights defenders to silence any independent voices. The Belarusian government has also abandoned any cooperation with international human rights bodies, including the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus. It withdrew from the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in February 2023.
An authoritarian government has no right to encroach upon society at its wish. As underlined by the Human Rights Committee General Comment 26 , the rights enshrined in the Covenant belong to the people living in the territory of the State party. The Human Rights Committee has consistently taken the view that once the people are accorded the protection of the rights under the Covenant, such protection devolves with territory and continues to belong to them, notwithstanding change in Government of the State party or any subsequent action of the State party designed to divest them of the rights guaranteed by the Covenant.