Political prisoners still behind bars while official Minsk is preparing for Summit in Riga
A thaw in the relations between the official Minsk and Brussels is not backed by any shift towards democratization in Belarus, states Chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Ales Bialiatski.
A Member of the Polish Sejm representing left democrats, Jewgeniusz Chykwin, has paid an official visit to the Belarusian Parliament, a visit of a delegation of the European Parliament is underway. Ales Bialiatski regards it as negative signals for the civil society of Belarus.
“What contacts can be maintained with the Belarusian parliament, if it is not recognized? Such contacts decrease the demands to the Belarusian authorities concerning transparency of the elections, fair elections, and, in general, the democratization of the situation in Belarus. Thus, it seems to me there is no reason to change the position of the European Parliament towards the Belarusian MPs and what is happening in Belarus.
Full cooperation with the official Minsk is only possible in the absence of political prisoners,
say the European officials who have started to visit Belarus quite often these days. Thanks to the thaw in relations between Minsk and Brussels the pressurization and persecution of dissidents in Belarus increases, says Ales Bialiatski.
Despite the alleged warming of diplomatic relations between the official Minsk and Brussels, nothing changes in Belarus itself with respect to democratization and human rights. "These are two separate vectors that do not intersect", says the Chairman of the Human Rights Centre" Viasna "Ales Bialiatski:
The Belarusian authorities keep to the policy of a total control over the civil and political situation in the country through maintaining a high level of fear in the society through the pursuit of political activists. What is done to the latter ones is aimed more for the society in order to spread this fear and the signals that the authorities aren't going to change anything and won't allow any democratization or liberalization.
The European Union called the absence of political prisoners a prerequisite for restoring full diplomatic relations with the official Minsk, the European Union has called the lack of political prisoners in Belarus. "Political prisoners are still behind bars while the official Minsk is preparing for the summit of "Eastern Partnership” in Riga," comments Ales Bialiatski, who used to be a political prisoner himself.