Eu/belarus : Parliament Warns Minsk on Human Rights

Article excerpt

The European Parliament warned, on 10 March, President Alexander Lukashenko's regime that "further violations of human rights and the rule of law in Belarus may lead to the revision of the EU's position towards Belarus, including reinstatement of the sanctions". In a joint resolution on the situation of civil society and national minorities in Belarus, adopted at the 10 March plenary session in Strasbourg, MEPs called on Lukashenko's regime to immediately release political activists and prisoners of conscience as well as to withdraw restrictive measures against civil society campaigners and political parties.

The warning is a direct reaction to the recent series of repressions against civil society in Belarus, namely the activists of the Union of Poles in Belarus (ZPB), an independent organisation representing some 400,000 minority Poles living in the country. The Parliament "expresses its grave concern at the recent human rights violations in the Republic of Belarus against members of civil society, especially members of the Union of Poles, and declares its solidarity with citizens unable to enjoy their full civil rights," reads the resolution tabled by Elmar Brok (EPP, Germany) Jose Ignacio Salafranca (EPP, Spain), Andrzej Grzyb (EPP, Poland), Jacek Protasiewicz (EPP, Poland) and Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (EPP, Poland).

On 15 February, Belarusian police arrested for five days the leader of the ZPB, Angelika Borys, along with some 40 other activists on their way to trial concerning the House of Poles in Ivyanets, in the West of the country. …