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170 parliamentarians from across europe write to heads of belarusian prisons

2022 2022-02-21T19:06:42+0300 2022-02-21T19:09:21+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

170 Parliamentarians from 16 European countries have signed a joint letter which is being sent to the heads of the 48 Belarusian prisons who hold political prisoners, and the Ministry of the Interior. The MPs call on the prison authorities to stop all violations and abuses of the rights of the prisoners in all Belarusian detention facilities.

The letter makes it clear to those responsible for the treatment of political prisoners that the world is aware of the abuses that have been happening, reminds them of their responsibility to honour Belarus’ international commitments to treatment of prisoners, and calls for the release of all political prisoners.

The letter was signed by parliamentarians from Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Libereco’s United Kingdom representative, Ken McBain, said,

“It is important that those who are responsible for the life, health and safety of political prisoners in Belarus are aware that their unlawful and inhumane treatment doesn’t go unnoticed. We hope that receiving a personally addressed letter from so many European parliamentarians, from so many countries, will make them think about their responsibilities. They may feel they act with impunity and are anonymous, but the world is watching them.”

The letter from the MPs states:

“We are aware of the abuses and basic rights that are denied political prisoners in Belarusian prisons. We know that detainees are put into crowded rooms without adequate clothes and sheets. We know that prisoners are denied their letters and parcels, denied meetings with their families and denied access to proper legal representation. We know that prisoners who require medical treatment are often denied access to doctors and the medication they require and that political prisoners are sent to punishment cells to put pressure on them because of their political views.

We call on you to stop these violations and abuses of the rights of the prisoners in all your detention facilities. The inhumane treatment of your prisoners, that we hear about so frequently, is unacceptable.”

The full letter and list of signatories is accessible here.

The letter campaign is a joint initiative of Libereco,, DissidentBY, the Co-ordination Council, Viasna, and the People’s Embassies of Belarus.