Don’t Let Europe’s Last Dictator Use Lives as Leverage

Target: Ursula von der Leyen, President of European Commission

Goal: Ease tensions with Belarus to prevent further harm to refugees and other severely impacted populations.

Belarus has become the problem child of Europe. The country’s authoritarian ruler has been accused of election tampering and taking scores of political prisoners. The nation faced backlash in mid-2021 when it reportedly forced a plane to land so it could detain an activist critic on-board. More recently, leaders have been accused of lighting the match to a migrant crisis along the Belarus and Poland border. This situation alone puts refugees seeking a better life in danger both from the harsh elements and from overly-aggressive authorities on both sides of the border.

Much of the recent tensions, which also includes threats from Belarus to cut off heating supplies to Europe in the upcoming winter months, stems from hefty sanctions imposed on the country. Critics also believe Belarus’ close ally Russia is playing the role of puppet-master in stoking the conflicts. As these leaders continue to play games, however, they are using the lives of desperate people as bargaining chips and collateral damage.

Sign the petition below to urge the European Union to adjust its strategy in taking on “Europe’s last dictator.”


Dear Ms. von der Leyen,

People are dying at the Belarus and Poland border. Military alliances between Belarus and Russia are only deepening. And Alexander Lukashenko’s iron grip on Belarus is also tightening. To date, the European Union’s approach to these tensions has relied upon two aspects: sanctions and border control. Both of these tools, however, are currently doing more harm to the people than to the powers in charge.

Please heed the advice of experts to adapt and adopt a new strategy that will benefit the many suffering individuals caught in the middle of these struggles.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Artem Podrez

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