Östgruppen: verdict on Tonkacheva's case has a clear political motivation
Representatives of the Swedish organization Östgruppen comment on the verdict of the Minsk court which refused to cancel the earlier court decision to deport human rights activist Elena Tonkacheva from Belarus.
Soon Tonkacheva will be expelled from Belarus. Östgruppen called the verdict "a clearly politically motivated decision" and calls on the EU and Sweden to react to it.
According to the head of the Swedish human rights initiative Martin Uggla, it is important that Sweden and the European Union should react to the repression exerted by the Belarusian regime.
"Aliaksandr Lukashenka is eager to get rid of critical voices on the eve of the presidential election, and deportation of Tonkacheva is a vivid example of this. Foreign Minister Margot Wallström should publicly criticize the decision, as well as encourage the EU to an official statement," argues Martin Uggla.
As it follows from the statement of the Swedish human rights activists, Elena Tonkacheva and the human rights centre “Lawtrend” headed by her have played an important role in the public life of Belarus after the presidential elections in December 2010. The centre documented and monitored the trials of opposition candidates and other critics of the Belarusian regime, as well as other actions of the authorities, when people were groundlessly imprisoned on charges of involvement in the “mass riot” on December 19, 2010.
Östgruppen members would also like to see not only an official statement of the EU, but also some concrete actions. They propose to put the persons, responsible for the verdict to Tonkacheva, including the judges, on the list of the Belarusian officials subjected for sanctions due to human rights violations.
“One of the aims of such sanctions is to show that human rights violations have negative consequences for their perpetrators. It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate it in practice”, believes Martin Uggla.