Culture and Education committee condemns repressions against students and teachers in Belarus 

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On International Students Day the EP Education committee urges the EU universities to help Belarusian students who face persecution to pursue their studies.

By pointing to the academic freedom as core principle of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), MEPs of EP’s Culture and Education committee call to urgently address the crackdowns on Belarus university students during the upcoming EHEA Ministerial Conference on 19th November.


“We condemn the repression against students and teachers. We stand behind the persecuted students and stand for academic freedom in Belarus”, said EP Culture and Education committee chair Sabine Verheyen (EPP, DE) on Tuesday.


Culture and Education MEPs also called on all EU universities to help those Belarusian students facing persecution to pursue their studies.


Background


The peaceful participation of students in the pro-democracy movement in Belarus has led to threats of expulsion or conscription into the military. The Belarusian Students Association (ZBS) has recorded the detention of 374 students since September, with 80 sentenced to a total of 953 days of administrative arrest, and 54 fined an average of 120 EUR each ‑ almost five times the value of a monthly academic scholarship in the country.


The European Higher Education Area, coordinated by the EU Commission, includes the EU member states and other (altogether 48) countries who have subscribed to the Bologna Process, with Belarus among them. See the members here.