No Swiss Skiing for Lukashenko: Swiss human rights group demands an entry ban for the Belarusian president
Human rights group Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights urges the Swiss government to immediately impose an entry ban on the Belarusian president Lukashenko and further high ranking officials of Belarus. The reason therefor is the detention of dozens of political prisoners and the massive intimidation campaign against the civil society.
"It would be completely unacceptable and damaging the reputation of our country, if Europe's last dictator was allowed to go skiing in Switzerland, only some weeks after he allowed the beating and detention of opposition politicians", said Martin Stadelmann, chairman of Libereco Switzerland. In February 2010 Lukashenko visited Switzerland for the last time.
Protests against the rigging of the Belarusian presidential elections have been brutally dissolved on the 19th of December. More than 700 people, among them
7 of the 9 presidential candidates have been arrested. For weeks, the secret police KGB has detained and interrogated opposition activists, journalists and human rights activists, and searched many of their appartments.
Around 30 dissidents are still in custody. They and 20 other regime opponents, who are not allowed to leave the country, are facing prosecution and long-term
imprisoment. Libereco, Amnesty International and several other human rights organisations, as well as several Western foreign ministers, are calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all these political prisoners in Belarus.
"Switzerland can not just watch, it has to act. Even before the EU decides on entry bans and further sanctions on the 31st of January, the Swiss government can move ahead and give a clear signal for democracy and human rights in Europe. First of all, we have to avoid that Belarusian officials are attending the World Economic Forum in Davos. There is no place for a regime that is threatening its own people in the 21st century in Europe", said Stadelmann.
Poland has already imposed an entry ban against dozens of Belarusian officials responsible for election rigging and human rights violation. Switzerland has to follow immediately the decision of Poland.