Vaclav Havel and 12 other prominent figures call for united push to end 'autocratic' rule in Belarus

20-08-2005

Former Czech president Vaclav Havel and twelve other prominent world figures have signed an open letter calling for the world to end "autocratic" rule in Belarus. In the letter published on Saturday, the signatories accuse President Alexander Lukashenka of routinely violating basic human rights and civic freedoms. They also warn that the last independent daily in the country, Narodnaja Volja, is in danger of being shut down. Apart from Vaclav Havel, signatories to the letter include the Czech senator Karel Schwarzenberg, the Hungarian-born billionaire philanthropist George Soros and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. They are calling on the United Nations and world governments to make a united push for democracy in Belarus.