MEPS protest against forceful drafting of Belarusian oppositionists
Jacek Protasiewicz, head of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Belarus, concerns about practice of forceful call-up for military service in Belarus.
His statement issued on January 26 says it.
The Polish MEP notes medical conclusions of draftees are reviewed in Belarus, and officers of the secret services take active part in forceful call-up, BelaPAN reports.
This practice causes serious doubts that compulsory military service is used as a type of political repressions against opposition activists, says the statement of the head of the delegation for relations with Belarus.
The MEP reminds about the latest resolution of the European Parliament, adopted on January 16, 2009, urging the Belarusian authorities to refrain from threatening criminal prosecution, including for avoiding military service in Belarus, against students expelled from universities for their civic stance.
A question of stopping using military service as means of political repressions remains a key criterion of estimation of the situation with human rights in Belarus during a six-month period of suspending of sanctions against the Belarusian authorities, J. Protasiewicz said.
He notes that the European Union is keeping close eye on how Belarus fulfilling its promises on improving the situation with human rights, freedom of expression and rule of law.
On January 22, the democratic forces of Belarus spread a statement, saying that youth activists “are usually drafted into army after they have been expelled from university regardless of their fitness for military service”. Among those, who have been called up on political grounds, are Zmitser Zhaleznichenka, Ales Kalita, and Zmitser Salavei. “The secret services interfere with drafting of Fyodar Charankou, Paval Batueu, Paval Kuryanovich, Zmitser Khvedaruk, Artsyom Zabaryn, Ales Krutkin, and Uladzimir Syarheeu,” the statement notes. Ivan Shyla and Franak Vyachorka may be “drafted” into army and need urgent interference of the society. In 2008, the first one wasn’t allowed to pass his final exams, and the latter was unlawfully expelled from Belarusian State University.”