Ales Bialiatski takes part in OSCE conference in Copenhagen
The OSCE conference on the occsaion of the 20th anniversary of signing of the Copenhagen Document takes place in Copenhagen on 10-11 June. Ales Bialiatski, Chairperson of the Human Rights Center Viasna and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), was invited there to represent Belarusian NGOs. An official delegation from Belarus takes part in the conference as well.
’It is quite symbolic that the OSCE conference takes place in the hall where the Copemhagen Document was signed 20 years ago. It was a somewhat revolutionary document at that time. It was a large turning point when several central European states declared the transition to democracy. Some changes also took place in the Soviet Union. These countries grew up to signing the packet of Declarations that guaranteed the development of civil and political rights on their territories. The Copenhagen Document aimed primarily at the support of human rights and democracy in the member countries.
Pitifully enough, we should state that 20 years have passed, but a part of the countries that became the successors of this document, in particular, some of the former USSR countries, don’t implement the Copenhagen Document to a full extent. This group of outlaw countries includes first of all Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus. All main declarations that are included in the Copenhagen Document and concern the holding of fair and transparent elections, independent judiciary and the prevention of torture in the places of custody aren’t implemented with an especial cynicism. It is very sad that 20 years have passed, and Belarus digressed from the Copenhagen Document. Today’s presence of the official Belarusian delegation here looks as some kind of mockery at this document,’ says Ales Bialiatski.
’We are sure that sooner or later Belarus will accede to a real, not formal implementation of the Copenhagen undertakings,’ adds the human rights defender.
Mr. Bialiatski also presented his assessment of the situation in Belarus in his speech during a special round table for NGOs.