Ales Bialiatski meets Johannes Hahn ahead of his visit to Minsk
In the morning of April 15 in Brussels, the head of the HRC "Viasna" and FIDH Vice-President Ales Bialiatski met with European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn.
The European Commissioner wished to obtain first-hand information about the current situation in Belarus before tonight's fly to Minsk.
Following the meeting, Ales Bialiatski said that the main topicof the discussion was the issue of political prisoners.
"Mr Khan stressed that the issue of political prisoners remains a priority for the European Union in its relations with Belarus. He assured me that this issue hadn't been removed from the agenda of the European Union that they would hold on to the same position and seek the release of political prisoners in Belarus. That was his main message," said the human rights activist.
What concerns the general situation of human rights in Belarus, during his talk with the European Commissioner Mr. Bialiatski pointed at the tendency for its deterioration: "I said that the situation has not improved over the ten months that have passed since my release. On the contrary, there are alargming sings of its deterioration: pressurization of political prisoners and independent journalists, along with the amendments to the law on mass media which present a great danger to the freedom of expression and the latest searches at the offices and apartments of human rights activists in Mahilioŭ and Homiel.”
The human rights activist also expressed the opinion that no reforms are planned in the country and the elections would most probably follow the old scenario. He urged the European Commissioner to be cautious in his relations wit the Belarusian authorities and judge them rather by their actions that their words.
According to the “Viasna” head, in Minsk Johannes Hahn will have official meetings at the highest level, and will also meet with relatives of political prisoners and members of civil society of Belarus.