Council of Europe: We have serious barriers for rapproachmenet with Minsk

2010 2010-04-27T22:20:43+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The Chair of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, Micheline Calmy-Rey has called upon the Belarusian government to redouble efforts in the cause of rapproachment to this organisation.

"We have grounds to believe that on March 18 Belarus carried out 2 executions. This fact is a serious barrier on the way of rapproachment between Minsk and the Council of Europe," stated the Chair of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, Micheline Calmy-Rey, Head of Switzerland's Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

As informed by Radio Svaboda, she said that she expects Belarus to abolish death penalty, and only then the dialogue between Minsk and Strasbourg could be restored. Micheline Calmy-Rey also recalled her conversation with Alyaksandr Lukashenka, when this issue had been toucned upon. It was in February, when the Belarusian leader was in Switzerland.

Micheline Calmy-Rey underlined that she would expect "a clear signal" from Minsk until the end of Switzerland's chairmanship in the Council of Europe until May 11. Then Macedonia is to take the position of this organisation's chair.

We remind that in June 2009 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in its resolution connected returning the special guest status in the Assembly to Belarus with a moratorium on death penalty.

Belarus is the only country in Europe which is not only a member of the Council of Europe, but does not even has a guest status. 47 countries of Europe and all our neighbours are members of the Council of Europe. And it means that their citizens would be able to apply to the European Court for Human rights when their rights are violated by governmental bodies.

According to the human rights organisation "Amnesty International", in March 25-year-old Andrei Zhuk and 30-year-old Vasil Yuzepchuk were executed by shooting in Belarus. The first one was found guilty of armed assault and the murder of officers of Bolshevik-Agro firm, who were carrying money to pay salary to the firm staff. The second one was sentenced to capital punishment for a series of murders of elderly women in the Brest region.