EU leaders issue declaration condemning Belarus for its "deteriorating" human rights record
The leaders of the European Union’s member countries issued a declaration condemning Belarus for its "deteriorating" record on human rights and rule of law as a result of the September 29-30 EU Eastern Partnership summit in Warsaw after the delegations of five post-Soviet nations participating in the Eastern Partnership – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – had spoken out against including a paragraph to this effect in the summit’s joint declaration.
THe EU declaration reads as follows: “The Heads of State and Government and representatives of the EU and its member states express their deep concern at the deteriorating human rights, democracy and rule of law situation in Belarus, deplore the continuing deterioration of media freedom in Belarus and call for the immediate release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners, an end to the repression of civil society and media and the start of a political dialogue with the opposition. The EU is also deeply concerned about reports that prisoners are denied access to their families and lawyers as well as to medical care while being put under psychological and physical pressure. The European Union has consistently offered to deepen its relations with Belarus and, while reaffirming its policy of critical engagement, reiterates that such a deepening is conditional on progress towards respect by the Belarusian authorities for democracy, the rule of law and human rights.”
Belarus boycotted the summit in response to not having invited Alyaksandr Lukashenka and discriminating against Viktar Haysyonak, the country’s ambassador to Poland who was appointed to represent Belarus at the summit. // BelaPAN