Joint Statement of 15 international MPs on the situation in Belarus

2012 2012-07-27T12:23:16+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

27.07.2012 Polish MEP Marek Migalski, as a participant in Libereco-Partnership for Human Rights’ Prisoner’s Godparenthood Campaign, issued a statement on the situation in Belarus, which was supported by 14 other international members of parliament. Today, they expressed their support for the democratic aspirations of  the  people  of  Belarus  and  called  upon  Belarusian  authorities  to  cease  the persecution of dissidents, human rights defenders and journalists in Belarus and to release and exonerate all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally.

The group’s statement is below:

“The  situation  in  Belarus  is  deteriorating  as  Belarusian  authorities  continue  to repress fundamental freedoms of its people.  As  reported  by  independent Belarusian  media,  the  regime  continues  its  crackdowns  and  incarceration  of political and human rights activists, members of the opposition, and independent journalists.

As these reports have detailed, the situation of several political prisoners that are still being held in prisons and other places of detention is worsening. Prisoners are often tortured and face harsh conditions, which in many cases pose threats to life and health. The Belarusian authorities continue to accuse the prisoners of “maliciously  disrupting  the  prison  regime”  in  order  to  eliminate  their  ability  to receive  a  pardon. Siarhei  Kavalenka  and  former  presidential  candidate,  Mikalai Statkevich have been forced to submit the appeal for pardon. They refused and as a result, they were placed in solitary confinement.  

We were disturbed to learn that a new investigation has been launched against the jailed leader of the opposition Young Front organization, Dzmitry Dashkevich. He is facing another year in prison for allegedly violating prison rules. Mikalai Autukhovich  and  Mikalai  Statkevich  were sentenced  by  the  court  to  harsh conditions and transferred to a closed prison regime from a penal colony. Mikalai Dziadok  has  been  moved to a punishment isolation cell for a sentence of 6 months. Reports  indicate  that  human  rights  activist,  Ales  Bialiatski  faces increasingly  repressive  prison  conditions,  including  reduced  food  rations  and limited visiting rights.


On  June  22,  Andrei  Pochobut,  a  well-known  journalist  and  activist  of  the independent  Union  of  Poles,  was  arrested  and  accused  of  insulting  President Aliaksandr Lukashenka. Although he was released on bail June 30, he still faces a prison sentence on charges of “libeling the President.” This targeted attack is a threat to  Belarusian  journalists  and  demonstrates  the  authorities’  increasing crackdown on freedom of expression.


Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights

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Additionally, we are concerned about the rising number of administrative arrests of youth activists.  From  July  2011  to  May  2012,  16  members  of  the  “Young Front” (Malady Front) were arrested. These politically motivated arrests based on false charges are blatant attempts to harass and intimidate the opposition. 


We condemn the Belarusian authorities’ persecution of its citizens and call for the immediate release and fully exoneration of all political prisoners."


Marieluise Beck, Member of the German Bundestag

Bijan Djir-Sarai, Member of the German Bundestag

Sari Essayah, Member of the European Parliament

Michael Gahler, Member of the European Parliament

Katrin Goring-Eckardt, Vice President of the German Bundestag

Angelika Graf, Member of the German Bundestag

Mark Kirk, U.S. Senator for Illinois

Bдrbel Kofler, Member of the German Bundestag

Marek Migalski, Member of the European Parliament

Manuel Sarrazin, Member of the German Bundestag

Werner Schulz, Member of European Parliament

Marina Schuster, Member of the German Bundestag

Christoph Strдsser, Member of the German Bundestag

Franz Thцnnes, Member of the German Bundestag

Florian Toncar, Member of the German Bundestag

Libereco –Partnership for Human Rights initiated  the Prisoner’s Godparenthood Campaign  for  political  prisoners  in  Belarus  to  support  the  prisoners  and  their families. Several Members of Parliament who signed this joint statement have taken over a godparenthood for a political prisoner in Belarus.