Support for the persecuted student and academicians of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me in my capacity as the Rector of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague to issue this public statement as a means of expressing my deepest concerns over the violations of human and civil rights of students and academics in Belarus.

Thousands of students and academicians joined the peaceful protests against the rigged presidential election, and hundreds of them are currently facing criminalisation and are expelled from universities. Each male student also receives a draft card along with being expelled from a university. Students are often arrested on the premises of universities, and are imprisoned and beaten.

I appeal to the rectors of Belarusian universities to thoroughly consider their responsibility for the future of their country, overcome their fears and resist the pressure towards expelling students and dismissing employees, however difficult this may be for them in their positions.

Namely, allow me to express my solidarity with the teachers and students of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts who suffered from repression and with those who have expressed their support for the expelled and arrested students.

Jan Hančil


24. November 2020