Joint Statement of 15 international MPs on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with Civil Society and Human Rights Movement in Belarus on 4th August 2013
02.08.2013 On initiative of Marek Migalski, Polish member of European Parliament, and Swiss-German human rights watchdog Libereco - Partnership for Human Rights, 15 international members of parliament issued the statement below on the human rights situation in Belarus:
„The latest reports and statements of Belarusian human rights defenders demonstrate that the human rights situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate.
At least 12 political prisoners are still being kept in Belarusian prisons, including a presidential candidate, Mikalai Statkevich; a head of the Human Rights Centre "Viasna", Ales Bialiatski; and a leader of the youth opposition organization “Malady Front”, Zmitser Dashkevich. On 1st July 2013, Andrei Haidukou, another representative of the Belarusian opposition, was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison. According to Belarusian and international human rights organizations, his trial was groundless, politically motivated and lacking in transparency.
Over 40 Belarusian citizens continue to have their rights and civil liberties restricted as a result of politically motivated trials in 2011-2012. Political prisoners who have already been released from penal colonies have not been rehabilitated and remain under preventive supervision.
Human rights defenders, lawyers, representatives of the opposition, and independent journalists are still faced with persecution and repression. One of the measures taken by the Belarusian authorities against them is the restriction on leaving Belarus. This restriction has already been applied to at least 17 people.
A fact which also gives us a concern is that Belarus still fails to establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, and that since 24th April 2013, the Belarusian authorities have sentenced 3 men to death.
We would also like to draw attention to the fact that Belarus refuses to cooperate with international institutions and organizations in the area of human rights, and continuously disregards the obligations which it undertook in an international capacity.
In light of this situation, we respectfully call on the Belarusian authorities to release and rehabilitate all political prisoners, immediately and unconditionally, and to establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
We also appeal to all EU member states and European politicians, to decline to cooperate with the regime of Alexander Lukashenko, for as long as our human rights demands remain unfulfilled.”
Marieluise Beck, Member of German Bundestag
Sari Essayah, Member of European Parliament
Michael Gahler, Member of European Parliament
Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Vice President of German Bundestag
Angelika Graf, Member of German Bundestag
Marek Migalski, Member of European Parliament
Dr. Bärbel Kofler, Member of German Bundestag
Manuel Sarrazin, Member of German Bundestag
Werner Schulz, Member of European Parliament
Marina Schuster, Member of German Bundestag
Jean-François Steiert, Member of Swiss Parliament
Christoph Strässer, Member of German Bundestag
Dr. Florian Toncar, Member of German Bundestag
Franz Thönnes, Member of German Bundestag
Uta Zapf, Member of German Bundestag