The release of all political prisoners is one of the key conditions for Belarus to renew its

2008 2008-01-18T12:29:14+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”


- The Chairman -



Chairman of the Delegation for relations with Belarus

on recent arrests of democratic opposition activists in Belarus

Strasbourg, 17 January 2008. On behalf of the Delegation for relations with Belarus, I

strongly condemn arrests of ten young activists of the Young Front (Malady Front) and of the

Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) Youth, who were detained following peaceful demonstrations

yesterday in Minsk to mark the day of solidarity with the imprisoned Belarusian opposition

activists and the families of missing prominent Belarusians.

These ten brave young people - Franak Viachorka, Anton Kalinouski, Yuras Stankevich,

Uladzimir Syarheew, Kasya Krasnova, Lyudmila Atakulava, Kasya Halitskaya, Maksim

Vyarnyanski, Paval Kuryanovich and Volha Kulyakevich - who took courage yesterday to

defend their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, are standing

trial today in Minsk and several have been already sentenced up to 15 days in prison.

I am furthermore dismayed by the recent conviction to two weeks in prison of Anatol

Liabedzka, leader of the United Civil Party (UCP), and of other fifteen organizers of the

demonstration held by sole entrepreneurs on 10 January in Minsk.

I demand for the immediate release of all these activists of the democratic opposition and of the

civil society of Belarus.

These recent arrests and politically motivated prosecutions as well as the continued

imprisonment of Alyaksandr Kazulin, Artur Finkevich, Zmitser Dashkevich, Andrey Klimaw

and other political prisoners, blatantly contradict the recent rhetoric of the Belarusian leadership

of their wish to improve the relations with the European Union (EU).

The release of all political prisoners is one of the key conditions for Belarus to renew its

relationship with the EU within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)

and it is therefore up to the government of Mr Lukashenka to finally take concrete and

unwavering steps in this regard without any further delay.

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