Czech Republic To Give Safe Haven To Persecuted Belarusian Medics
Since the August 2020 presidential election in Belarus, Lukashenko’s regime has escalated the violence and political persecution of citizens. In response, the Czech Ministry of the Interior is to offer humanitarian protection to persecuted health care professionals. Photo credit: Freepik / Illustrative Photo.
Czech Rep., Feb. 8 (BD) – Under the MEDEVAC health and humanitarian program, operated by the Ministry of the Interior, Belarusian doctors persecuted by the Lukashenko regime will find a new home in the Czech Republic. The programme that has already helped 60 Belarusian citizens harassed by the regime will now focus on health care professionals, offering transport to the Czech Republic and help integrating into the job market.
In light of the persistent climate of instability and persecution in Belarus, especially after the presidential election of August 2020, the Interior Ministry proposed to extend support for the regime’s victims. The plan has now been approved by the government. “Unfortunately, the situation in Belarus is not improving and people are still being persecuted by the regime. Thanks to the MEDEVAC program, we have an effective tool to transport them to the Czech Republic and help them. We decided to reactivate this assistance,” explained Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček (CSSD).
The selection of the health professionals to receive assistance from the Czech government will be carried out by the Ministry of the Interior in coordination with the Ministry of Health. The families of the Belarusian medics will also be welcomed into the Czech Republic. Post-arrival assistance will include help securing a residence permit, short-term accommodation, health care, interpreter services and assistance entering the labor market. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the provision of PCR tests and quarantine is also guaranteed by the Ministry of the Interior.
The MEDEVAC program focuses on providing medical care to vulnerable groups in regions affected by migration, overwhelmed by refugees or in places where specialized professional care is not available. The program has been running since 2014.