PACE: the release of political prisoners and a moratorium on the death penalty are the obligatory per-requisites for the beginning of a dialogue with Minsk

2013 2013-10-08T21:27:19+0300 2013-10-08T21:27:19+0300 en

The release of political prisoners and the introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty in Belarus are the obligatory conditions for the dialogue of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) with the Belarusian authorities. This is stated in the statement of the PACE Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, published on 3 October on the site of the Assembly.

The document notes that after the 2 October hearing on the situation in Belarus, which was attended by the editor of Natallia Radzina and the deputy head of the movement "For Freedom" Ales Lahvinets , the committee is concerned about the "conditions of detention of political prisoners and reports of abuse, torture and compulsory psychiatric treatment".

" The Committee once again urges the Government to immediately and unconditionally release 11 political prisoners who are still in prison," reads the statement.

The Committee also welcomes the decision of the PACE to award the Prize to Vaclav Havel to the well-known Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, who is serving a prison term in Belarus.

The statement stressed that if the PACE will begin a dialogue with Belarus, it necessarily must involve the civil society, which must also participate in the preparation of the action plan of the Council of Europe with regard to Belarus.