CAN demands the immediate release of CAN members and all activists illegally detained in Belarus

9 September 2020

9 September 2020: Over the weekend, on 5 and 6 September, people in civilian clothes abducted several activists in Belarus, who included members of Climate Action Network in the country. The abductions and detention followed their participation in peaceful political protests. CAN believes in the right to freedom of expression and supports people’s right to peacefully protest for social and political justice in Belarus.

We demand the immediate release of all those being detained illegally, including:   

Andrey Egorov, who was abducted by unidentified people on Sunday, 6 September, during a peaceful protest. He is currently awaiting his trial in Jodino prison.
Egorov is a political scientist and activist. He is chairman of the Coordination Committee of the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, member of the Green Network Council and a member of the Coordination Council initiated by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

Irina Sukhy, who was abducted by people in civilian clothes from her house before the start of a mass protest on Sunday, 6 September. She was detained in the infamous Okrestina prison. Following a false court case, she is being detained in the prison for five days.
Sukhy is one of the most prominent environmental activists in Belarus. She is chairwoman of the Green Network Council and a representative of the NGO EcoDom, which leads a campaign against the Ostrovets Nuclear Power Plant.
Sukhy’s apartment was raided by representatives of law enforcement agencies who refused to introduce themselves and failed to produce papers justifying the search. The raid and abduction were carried out in the presence of Sukhy’s 93-year-old mother.

Anastasia Zakharevich, who was abducted from a store by people in civilian clothes on Saturday, 5 September. She was charged with participating in an unauthorized mass event and has been sentenced to seven days in prison. Zakharevich is a journalist with Green Portal, the Green Network Media Resource.

Climate Action Network strongly supports the demands of the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, the Green Network Coalition of Environmental Organizations and the NGO EcoDom for: 

  • The immediate release of all political prisoners who have been abducted and detained for participating in peaceful protests, including our CAN colleagues.
  • An immediate end to the violence and repression by law enforcement agencies, and swift justice for all those who have been harmed by these repressive actions. 

A proactive position in political protests, including in the fight for environmental protection, is an inalienable and legal right of citizens. If the exercise of these rights are met with violence and repression from the government, civil society will unite and seek justice.

“The attacks on peaceful activists in Belarus who are fighting for their freedom and a better future for their country is a horrible violation of human rights. We cannot build a just and sustainable world without ensuring that the rights of activists are protected. Governments who use repression against their own peaceful citizens cannot deliver on climate and justice demands of the people. This is the time to stand in solidarity with the brave activists in Belarus.”Olga Boiko, CAN EECCA coordinator   

“It is absolutely unacceptable that our colleagues are kidnapped on the streets and in their own homes, harassed, imprisoned and subjected to legal proceedings that have nothing to do with the law and human rights. An unprecedented lawlessness and violence is now taking place in Belarus, which threatens the entire European community and the very institution of human rights in Europe and the world. If we, the EU and the UN do not respond appropriately, we will not be able to cope with the crisis of democracy and the climate crisis in the future, which will be extremely dangerous for all, without exception, people on the planet” – Svetlana Romanko, Managing Director, in the EECCA region

“Sustainable development of society, in principle, is impossible without respect for human rights, without the right to vote and without the right for citizens to determine the society of their choice and be responsible for decisions. The rude and unjustified detention of our colleagues in Belarus shows how dangerous the existing regime is for people who are demanding a comprehensive, democratic and truly sustainable development of their country, regardless of whether they work in ecology, politics or journalism.” – Maria Falaleeva, Climate Policy Expert, Belarus

“It is appalling to see all these human rights violations, arbitrary arrests of civilians, journalists and activists happening at Europe’s doorstep. They constitute a serious blow to European values, including freedom of expression and gathering. The EU must condemn the attacks perpetrated by the government on activists and take urgent steps to support Belarusian civil society in order to protect the rule of law and democracy across all of Europe. This should include applying sanctions to the Belarus government.” – Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network, Europe  

CAN members in solidarity with colleagues in Belarus:

1.  Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network International 

2.  “Little Earth”, Tajikistan

3.   Miriam Talwisa- CAN-Uganda

4.  “Ecodefense”, Russia

5. in the region of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia

6.  “Gamarjoba”, Georgia

7.  “Khazer” Ecological and Cultural NGO, Armenia

8.   PF “Social and Environmental Fund”, Kazakhstan

9.   Youth Environmental Center, Tajikistan

10. “Friends of the Baltic”, Russia

11. Scientific and Intellectual Club “Dialogue of Generations”, Georgia

12. Olga Senova, Russian Socio-Ecological Union (Friends of the Earth Russia)

13. Simonov Evgeniy, Rivers without Borders Coalition

14. Andriy Martynyuk, Executive Director, “Ecoclub”, Ukraine

15. Ecological Center “Dront”, Russia, Nizhny Novgorod

16. “Ecoaction”, Ukraine

17. Alofa tuvalu, France

18. Aatika Patel, Project Survival Pacific, Fiji

19. Fatima Ahouli, CAN Arab World

20. Irina Fufaeva, Green World, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

21. Alexey Grigoriev, coordinator of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union Forestry Campaign

22. Igor Babanin, Recycling Expert, Russia

23. Sadie DeCoste, co-coordinator of CAN working group on Adaptation and Loss and Damage, UK/Canada

24. Energy Mix Productions, Ottawa, Canada

25. Abibinsroma Foundation Ghana 

26. Alliance for Empowering Rural Communities (AERC-Ghana)

27. AirClim Sweden

28. Olga Vesnyanka, journalist, media trainer, Kiev, Ukraine

29. Lina Zernova, Co-Chair of the Environmental Journalists Guild of the St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region Journalists Union, Russia

30. Mikhail Yulkin, Founder and General Director of CarbonLab LLC, Moscow, Russia

31. Vladimir Levchenko, ENWL

32. John Englart, Climate Action Moreland/CANA, Australia

33. Union of Concerned Scientists

34. Andrey Laletin, Friends of Siberian Forests, Krasnoyarsk, Russia

35. Anara Alymkulova, Executive Director, Public Foundation “Institute for Sustainable Development Strategy”, Kyrgyzstan

36. Public Association “MovGreen”, Kyrgyzstan

37. Mt. Zion Community Outreach, Inc.

38. Evgeniy Kolishevsky, Executive Director of the public organization “Voice of Nature”, Ukraine

39. Arevik Hovsepyan, Head of NGO “National Water Partnership”, Armenia

40. Tatiana Tymochko, Head of the All-Ukrainian Ecological League, Ukraine

41. Olena Pashchenko, coordinator of the All-Ukrainian Children’s Union “Ecological Warta”, Ukraine

42. Gulshan Akhundova Chairwoman Woman Development Future Public Union, Azerbaijan

43. Elena Kolpakova, Head of the Water Program of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union

44. Svetlana Slesarenok, Black Sea Women’s Club, Ukraine

45. Elizaveta Merinova, co-chair of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union

46. Michael Malcom, People’s Justice Council, United States of America

47. Moritz Nachtschatt, GM Protect Our Winters Austria, Austria

48. Oil Change International

49. Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe

50. Environmental Justice Foundation

51. Carbon Market Watch

52. Climate Action Network Tanzania

53. ZERO – Association for the Sustainability of the Earth System, Portugal

54. Both ENDS, The Netherlands

55. Energy Watch Group, Germany

56. Fiona Ryan, Cairns Climate Action Network (Australia)

57. Green Transition Denmark

58. Morgane Créach, Director of Réseau Action Climat, France

59. Institute for Sustainable Development Foundation, Poland, Warsaw

60. Catalina Gonda, FARN, Argentina

61. Climate Action Network South Asia

62. Anthropocene Alliance, United States

63. Daniel Sosland, Acadia Center, Boston, MA USA

64. Environmental Defence Canada 

65. Deutscher Naturschutzring e.V. (DNR)

66. Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light (MN, USA)

67. Carsten Brinkmeyer, Denmark 

68. Polish Ecological Club Mazovian Branch, Poland

69. Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania,United States 

70. Najibj Bahsina, Morocco

71. EKOenergy ecolabel, Finland and International

72. Christoph Stein, Spain

73. PUSH, Sweden

74. Community Church of New York, Unitarian Universalist

75. Friends of the Earth Europe

76. New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light

77. Earth in Brackets, Bar Harbor, Maine, USA

78. Salote Soqo: Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), Massachusetts, USA

79Environmental association “Za Zemiata” / Friends of the Earth Bulgaria

80. Jean Su, Energy Justice Director, Center for Biological Diversity, United States

81Harri Hölttä, Chairman Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, Finland

82Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

83. Centar za ekologiju i energiju, Bosnia and Herzegovina

84. Director of Climate Change and Sustainable Development Network Trust, Zimbabwe

85. Abibiman Foundation

86. US Climate Action Network (USCAN) 

87. Meera Ghani, ECOLISE

88. András Lukács, President, Clean Air Action Group, Hungary

89. Friends of the Earth, US 

90. Julie-Anne Richards, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Australia

91. Alejandro Aleman, Regional Coordinator, CAN Latin America

92. Gloria HSU, Climate Coordinator, Taiwan Environmental Protection Union

93. Caroline Bader, GreenFaith+ Living the Change, Germany

94. Eco-union, Spain

95. Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)

96. Dr Mario Caffera Soc. Amigos del Viento, Uruguay, CAN-Latin America member

97. Isatis M Cintron, Latin America Coordinator, CCL. CAN member

98. Anne Barre, Women Engage for a Common Future






Olga Boiko, CAN EECCA coordinator,  
Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, Climate Action Network  / whatsapp +918826107830

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1300 NGOs in more than 120 countries fighting the climate crisis. More information on

CAN EECCA supports civil society organisations in their work on climate policy and renewable energy. CAN EECCA comprises 53 NGOS in 11 countries in the region, including in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan. More information on



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