Participants of OSCE Ministerial Council call Belarus to release political prisoners

2011 2011-12-07T17:26:29+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal called upon the Belarusian authorities to stop persecuting civil society activists and release all political prisoners, Euroradio reports.

“The situation there is, frankly speaking, unacceptable. The conclusions made by the "Moscow mechanism" alert - there is a conclusion that the election in Belarus wasn't free and fair, that the opposition is harassed there and the media is limited. Therefore, I, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, am urging the authorities of Belarus to release and rehabilitate all political prisoners. Not only those whose names are known, but also the anonymous men and women who stay in prison,” Uri Rosenthal said

The Dutch Foreign Minister also expressed a hope Ireland, which is the next to take over OSCE chairmanship, would not forget about these problems.

The Foreign Minister of Canada, John Baird, stressed the Belarusian authorities continued restrict rights and freedom of the people of Belarus.

Canada would apply further efforts for the people of Belarus to be able to execute their basic rights – the right to elect and the right to receive information, John Baird said.

The authorities continue to restrict rights and freedoms of people of Belarus. Canada condemns the Belarusian leadership in view of evident violations of international agreements in fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, the Canadian minister said. Canada was deeply disappointed by forceful closure of the OSCE Office in Minsk before the end of its work, the diplomat said adding that Canada would work with international partners and organizations to give people of Belarus an opportunity to execute their fundamental rights.

The Foreign Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt, emphasized the importance of struggling for freedom of speech in Belarus. He called to assert this freedom also in Internet media.

He said Sweden was very concerned about the recent events in Belarus and news from Minsk. There’s a principled disrespect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and principles of democracy in the country, he noted. Sweden was among the countries which launched the OSCE Moscow Mechanism in response to this particular situation. Along with the EU, Sweden repeatedly called to release and rehabilitated all Belarusian political prisoners, including recently convicted human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, the Swedish minister said.