Belarus is currently facing one of the biggest political crises in its post-Soviet history, after a presidential election triggered widespread protests.
According to the official central election commission, longstanding leader Alexander Lukashenko won 80% of the vote, a landslide victory which has been rejected by the opposition. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the main opposition candidate, has fled the country amid a government crackdown on protests.
Demonstrations have taken place throughout Belarus, with more than 200,000 rallying in central Minsk. “We are strictly warning: In case of disruption of the order and peace in these places – you will have to deal not with the police, but with the Army,” the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
According to reports, 7,000 have been detained and are being subjected to beating by prison guards and inhumane conditions.
A new compilation, ‘For Belarus‘, aims to “show solidarity with these brave Belarusians and collect money for the victims of repression.” The funds are being sent directly to the Belarus Solidarity Foundation – one of several charitable organisations currently helping the country.
It gathers a selection of tracks by international artists in support of the pro-democracy movement including Gudrun Gut, Thomas Azier and Molly Nillson.
“The events currently unfolding in Belarus are terrifying and, perhaps, miraculous,” the compilation’s accompanying text reads. “Terrifying because the illegitimate president Aleksandr Lukashenko, known as “Europe’s last dictator”, is waging a war against his citizens in plain sight – his forces are beating, torturing, and killing peaceful protesters who are fighting for their right to honest, transparent elections. Thousands of people were arrested and many of them are still missing.”
Listen to the compilation – and purchase – via Bandcamp below.