Andrzej Duda, Polish President, appealed for international solidarity with Belarusian society at the Online Democracy Summit hosted by his US counterpart Joe Biden.
The Thursday-Friday summit aims to prevent the erosion of democracy, human rights and freedoms in various countries around the world.
Duda said that “four weeks after my re-election, when more than 20 million of my Polish compatriots exercised their right to vote, our neighbors, the Belarusians, were again deprived of this right in the most brutal way possible.”
The Polish president referred to the 2020 presidential elections in Belarus, which were said to have been won once again by the country’s strongman, Alexander Lukashenko, and which the Western and Belarusian opposition said were rigged. Lukashenko has been in power for almost three decades now.
“Belarus is 180 kilometers from Warsaw,” Duda said. “This is where the frontier of democracy is, or even more, it’s a huge crevice that divides democracy and its absence.”
Duda said Belarus has not seen any discussion regarding the electoral system, polarization, minorities or ideologies. “It’s a luxury we enjoy, the people of the West,” he said.
“The problem there is how to get out of prison 900 people whose only crime was the desire for free elections,” continued the Polish president.
“I appeal to all of you for solidarity around this issue, I appeal to solidarity with Belarus,” Duda said. “Today is one of the most important challenges for the democratic world”, he concluded.
Before his speech, Duda listened to Joe Biden’s speech with Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya.
The Minsk regime brutally suppressed the mass protests that erupted in Belarus after the official results of the presidential election were announced. Tsikhanoskaya, who was Lukashenko’s suitor, had to flee the country.