The Minister-President of the Government of Flanders decided to award a subsidy of 50,000 euros to iSANS, the International Strategic Action Network for Security. From Poland, this Belarusian organization plays an important role in the democratic transition of Belarus and is close to the opposition of activist Svetlana Tichanovskaya.
iSANS denounces the crimes and human rights violations committed by the Belarusian regime in a substantiated manner. Through the dissemination of thorough analyses, reports and other news provision, iSANS also raises awareness among the international community. With this grant, iSANS will be able to employ two full-time employees for a period of one year.
The Belarusian regime of Alexander Lukashenko has been pursuing an undemocratic policy for decades. Mass electoral fraud was committed in August 2020 to stay in power. Nonviolent popular protests then broke out, violently crushed by the Belarusian security services. Since then, the human rights of civilians and human rights activists have been violated on a large scale.
The Government of Flanders is extremely concerned about this situation and supports the Belarusian people in their pursuit of democracy. The Flemish Parliament also expressed its support for the Belarusian population through a resolution and asked the Government of Flanders to pay attention to this matter.
The Government of Flanders has repeatedly expressed its support for a resolute European response against Lukashenko's regime. The recent hijacking of the Ryanair flight on its way to Vilnius and the arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich shows once again that only a sharp response from the European Union against Lukashenko's regime is the appropriate option. The Government of Flanders therefore welcomes the EU Council conclusions of 24 May.