Uladzimir Makei speaks about the fate of Belarusian political prisoners

2014 2014-03-05T12:37:59+0300 2014-03-05T12:37:59+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/makei.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Bearusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei

Bearusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei

March 1, Foreign Minister of Belarus Uladzimir Makei gave an interview to the news agency BNS (Baltic News Service) in Vilnius. Here's the full text of the interview, posted on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus.

Uladzimir Makei, among other things, was asked when the Belarusian political prisoners would be released.

- Lithuanian Foreign Minister stressed that the main problem in relations between Belarus and the EU is the question of political prisoners. Tell me, can we expect a "thaw" in this matter? For example, I read in the Belarusian press that the president of Belarus discussed the possibility that Ales Bialiatski could be released from jail in the near future. Can we expect some concrete actions concerning political prisoners?

- Your Minister stressed that we have so-called political prisoners, with wh
ich we naturally disagree. These persons were punished for specific criminal offenses,I will not deepen into details. On our part, we emphasized that we also want the European Union to withdraw sanctions against 243 individuals and 32 companies from Belarus, which, in our view, were introduced without any reasons after the presidential elections in December 2010.

For example, the list include
s more than a dozen journalists who expressed their views on what is happening. Here you can also ask sharp questions, perhaps, we should introduce sanctions against you and not let you into the territory of Belarus? Of course, it's a joke. Likewise, these persons were included in the lists of the European Union. It's nonsense. Some of our European partners agree with it in unofficial talks.

This also applies to a number of other categories
of people who are included in this infamous list.

By the way,
the sanction lists are much shorter concerning certain countries in which there are hostilities and war. It is not surprising at all, as we understand how these lists were adopted and who ordered it. What are the future prospects? Hope remains always, and I believe that the prospects are normal.

In this regard, we understand that we need to solve the existing problems in the relations between the European Union and Belarus.
On our part, we demand the lift of the sanctions, the EU demands that we release some persons, so-called political prisoners. We think, that everything must be solved not in the political, but in purely juridical sphere. Everything must be solved according to the law. If the court or the appropriate law-enforcement agencies decide that a person shall be released, or if this person writes the appropriate petition for clemency, the relevant competent authorities or commissions will consider this request and submit it to the head of the state.

- Is there any news about Bialiatski?

- As far as I know, the circumstances of this case
are studied. I can not give any guarantees and give answers on behalf of the Office of Prosecutor General and the corresponding structures, but the circumstances of this case are investigated.

According to
Narodnaya Volia