We are the association RAZAM.CH. Our association was created in 2020 with the aim to develop dialogue between citizens of Switzerland and Belarus within the framework of civil society.
After a massive election fraud on 9 August 2020, Belarus is going through a long political crisis. The country faces now a political and human rights meltdown in Belarus, and the dictatorial regime of Alexander Lukashenko is trying to retain power by all means. Over the past 5 months, more than 30,000 people were arrested during peaceful mass actions, and at least 4 people were killed. There are numerous reports of torture. According to the official data, more than 178 people have been confirmed as political prisoners. Thousands of people were forced to leave the country.
In addition, the coronavirus pandemic is putting unprecedented pressure on Belarus and hospitals are overwhelmed.
In this country, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), led by by Mr. René Fasel, wants to host the 2021 Ice Hockey World Championship. Despite massive pressure from the international community, the federation still insists on Minsk as the venue for the event. In addition, due to close contact with the dictator, Mr. Fasel discredits hockey as a sport and Switzerland as a neutral country in the international arena. Thus, he ignores thousands of repressed and at least 400,000 Belarusians who oppose the sporting event.
The Association RAZAM.CH considers this behaviour unacceptable. Therefore, on Thursday, 14 January 2021, at 12.30 pm at the IIHF headquarters in Zurich, we organize a peaceful rally called #DontPlayWithDictator and #ReneFaselsupportsmurderer.
We encourage the IIHF to relocate the sporting event to an alternative and safer location. Only this measure will preserve the good reputation of the political neutrality of the ice hockey federation and Switzerland in particular.