Ales Bialiatski sees no clear grounds for reducing the EU sanctions list
As it became known today, the Council of the European Union by its decision dated 31 July lifted the sanctions from 24 Belarusian officials involved in the persecution and repression of civil society.
Some representatives of the presidential administration, the power ministries, heads of educational institutions and judges have been removed from the list, including Siarhei Ablameika, Tamara Alpeyeva, Alena Ananich, Mikalai Balauniou, Andrei Baranouski, Mikhail Batura, Alena Chaniak, Zhana Dubinina/Rouda, Volha Husakova, Natallia Kuzniatsova, Alena Laptseva, Leanid Maltsau, Natallia Merkul, Henadz Niavyhlas, Henadz Padhaiski, Uladzimir Paluyan, Natallia Piatkevich, Yauhen Poludzen, Yury Prakopau, Anatol Rubinau, Lidziya Tsialitsa, Aliaksei Vasilyeu, Natallia Varenik, Valiantsina Ziankevich.
Commenting on the decision of the European Union, Chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Ales Bialiatski said he did not see any obvious reason for the reduction of the EU sanctions list:
"I believe that the sanctions against specific officials must be kept until the issues are resolved with human rights violations in Belarus, for which they were blacklisted. And in the first place these are the events of 2010: the hard crackdown in Minsk, the arrests and the subsequent repression of many citizens."
Currently, the list includes about 200 Belarusian officials. The previous time the EU blacklist was reduced on October 31, 2014: 24 people and seven companies were excluded from it.