The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada will provide $2.25 million to support civil society organizations who are working to help advance democracy in Belarus.
This support is in addition to a previous announcement of $600,000 to respond to the needs of civil society in Belarus, with a focus on women and independent media. The new funding will help strengthen the diversity, sustainability, and effectiveness of Belarussian civil society as they advocate for their rights and civil liberties to be respected. This support will also help these organizations inform the international community’s response to the demands and interests of the Belarusian people, and will bolster the important role of women in the pro-democracy movement.
This announcement coincides with the Day of Solidarity with Belarus, initiated by opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya to mark 6 months of peaceful protests in the country and to reinforce common support for the people of Belarus.
Canada will continue to work with its international partners to ensure that the voices of the people in Belarus are heard and to pursue accountability for those responsible for undermining democracy and for committing human rights violations.
“Canada has been actively engaged since the start of the crisis in supporting the democratic aspirations of the people of Belarus and a peaceful resolution to the current political situation. We will continue to advocate for a genuine and inclusive national dialogue to ensure that the future of Belarus reflects the will of its citizens. “
– Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Since August 2020, Canada has joined the international community in condemning the crackdown on peaceful protestors, political opposition, and media following the fraudulent presidential election in Belarus.
Canada has imposed 3 rounds of targeted sanctions under the Special Economic Measures Act against 55 Belarusian officials implicated in the ongoing large-scale and systematic human rights violations occurring in Belarus. These measures, taken in collaboration with the European Union and the United Kingdom, effectively freeze any Canadian assets of the listed individuals and make them inadmissible to Canada.
Canada, along with 16 other states that are members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, invoked the Moscow Mechanism to investigate allegations of human rights violations in Belarus. The report casts no doubt on the massive and systematic human rights violations committed by Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.