In an answer to and in support of the 2020 Belarusian protests, second-year students Megija Medne (Year 46/2021, Latvia) and Olivera Kamenarovska (Year 46/2021, Macedonia) created a video for this year’s UWC day to show their solidarity with the people of Belarus.
Below is how Megija describes her motivation to create this video:
“Right now, Belarusians are fighting for their freedom. Right now, they are marching on the streets to be seen. They are chanting to be heard. And all of that to be able to exercise their human rights to vote and to have freedom of speech.
But what is happening in Belarus? President Alexander Lukashenko, often referred by the media as “Europe’s last dictator”, has been the president of Belarus since 1994.
On Aug 9th, 2020, Lukashenko was re-elected for a sixth term. The disputed 2020 Belarusian presidential election led to widespread allegations of electoral fraud.
After the announcement of the results, thousands of Belarusians took to the streets to demand fair elections. The opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya had to leave the country in fear of unjustified detention.
Since 9th August, Belarusians are known as non-violent protesters: songs are performed, while holding flowers and the Belarusian flag in their hands. However, the protests were met with extreme police and army brutality. On 12th November, 31 year-old protestor Roman Bondarenko, died after having been beaten while in police custody.
We believe, Belarusians need the world’s support more than ever. And that is why we felt we wanted to show our support. Together with our class mates and serving as representatives or our countries and the UWC movement, we made a video message to show that we see, we hear and we do care, even if our governments stay silent!