Valiantsin Stefanovich: Unfortunately, not all European politicians want to see what is going on in Belarus
The situation that has developed around political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich is very symptomatic, showing that the Belarusian authorities, firstly, do not want to release political prisoners, and, secondly, only imitate a dialogue with the European Union.
In particular, Deputy Chairman of the HRC "Viasna" Valiantsin Stefanovich comments about the new trial, awaiting Mikalai Statkevich while he is serving his prison term. He also reminds about the criminal prosecution of political prisoner Mikalai Dziadok and a new criminal case against Yury Rubtsou, who has all chances to be imprisoned.
"It looks like the task of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry is to gain as much as possible from the geopolitical situation that has developed around the Ukrainian conflict. At the same time, there are no positive changes in the country and we don't see any political will of the country's authorities for making such changes,” says human rights activist.
As previously stressed by representatives of "Viasna", have a completely different task in connection with the forthcoming presidential election – to suppress any manifestations of social activity, which has been repeatedly stated by Lukashenka. The pessimistic predictions of human rights defenders are coming true. In particular, the pressure on the human rights community increases.
"Even against such a fragile political context inside the country, the the scale of repression is growing. We can already see attacks on human rights defenders in the regions of Belarus. Searches in the houses of a journalist and human rights activists in Mahiliou were evidently used not so much for checking the appeal concerning a defamatory article published on a regional website, but more for searching clues for further persecution of human rights activists: a computer which has been returned to the journalist had been checked with the use of such words as "receipt", "application","grant "," report","Viasna" and so on. The authorities also tried to dissolve Mahilioŭ human rights again. The situation around Homiel human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka, who is threatened with a criminal case,” stresses Valiantsin Stefanovich.
The human rights activist is sure that there won't be any changes for the better in the country at least until the presidential elections and therefore expresses his regret with the fact that some European politicians, valuing geopolitical interests and preferences above all, don't want to notice what is happening in Belarus.