A week ago the initiative of ICCI “Our House” and the DAR Initiative started collecting signatures under the petition of the Belarusian diaspora in Poland to President of Poland Andrzej Duda, the government and Polish Sejm, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. The appeal asked to extend assistance programmes for Ukrainian refugees to political refugees in Belarus. Over 300 people signed the appeal personally.

Today the appeal has become a petition of the Belarusian diaspora, which can be signed online.

You can find the text of the appeal/petition below:

Please note that many Belarusian citizens are currently leaving the territory of Ukraine due to military aggression on the part of the Russian Federation. Belarusians who were in Ukraine before the war arrived in Ukraine after the events of August 2020 due to repression. They experienced violence at the hands of the illegitimate authorities of the Republic of Belarus, went through prisons and imprisonment, were subjected to beatings and psychological pressure, many received administrative and criminal charges and were persecuted because of their active citizenship. Ukraine has become a second home for them.

Now many Belarusians face unjust condemnation due to aggression of the Russian Federation and support for Russia’s actions in Ukraine by the illegitimate government of Belarus. Belarusians are denied assistance and support, and there are more and more cases when Belarusians cannot leave the territory of Ukraine. Belarusians are denied boarding on trains from Ukraine to Poland, and they are turned away at border crossings.

Belarusians who are fleeing from Ukraine now are also victims of the war. They have already been victims twice. First, they fled repression from Belarus. Now, they leave Ukraine because of the war. But they do not receive such support and assistance as citizens of Ukraine.

These citizens of Belarus suffered for their struggle for human rights against the brutal regime of Alexander Lukashenko. Now they have become political refugees for the second time. All these Belarusians do not and never have supported either Putin’s or Lukashenko’s regime. On the contrary, they fought against these regimes with all their might.

We ask you to take all these facts into account and extend assistance programmes for Ukrainian refugees to political refugees in Belarus as well.