Popular British actor and writer Stephen Fry has joined a group of prominent foreign figures in speaking out in support of Belarusians protesting their country’s “rigged” presidential election.
Tens of thousands of Belarusians have taken to the streets of Minsk and other cities to protest the Aug. 9 vote in which officials claimed President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term by a landslide. Actor and musician Jared Leto and tech billionaire Elon Musk previously went on social media to show support to demonstrators or inquire about what they can do to help.
“I stand with Belarus and the people’s desire for democratic change,” Fry said in a video address posted on Twitter on Thursday.
“I want you, if you could, to join the Belarus Free Theater campaign and stand with the people of Belarus making their voices heard all over the world,” he added, referring to an underground Minsk-based theater group.
Fry said Lukashenko “stole another election from the people,” while his government “violently suppressed peaceful protests” and tortured detainees in the aftermath.
“Now we’re seeing Belarus’ people — workers in major factories, artists, musicians, performers, journalists — bravely standing up and demanding change at great personal risk,” he said.
Fry urged the British government to follow the European Union in developing sanctions “against those responsible for violence, repression and the falsification of elections.”
Fry gained popularity in the early 1990s with comedy partner Hugh Laurie, and has forged a successful solo career as comedy actor, quiz show host and author.