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This blogspot was started by the participants of the 5th International Summer School of ECPYN in Chisinau, Moldova, August 24-29 2008.
You can also visit our official website at www.ecpyn.org, follow ECPYN on Twitter or join our facebook group. Opinions expressed on this blog do not necessarily represent official ECPYN positions.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ECPYN calls on Belarusian authorities to respect rights of citizens

It is with grave concern, that ECPYN has taken notice of the violations of both political rights and basic human rights of its own citizens on the part of the Belarusian authorities. We call on the Belarusian authorities to set right its unjustified actions and to refrain from further violations. We call on the European Union and on all national governments to condemn the violations and to take appropriate actions to press the Belarusian authorities to make amends.

The violations of political and basic human rights of citizens on the part of the Belarusian authorities include:

- the use of excessive violence by the riot police against citizens who gathered peacefully in Independence Square in Minsk. Many people were beaten so severely, they were hospitalized, including even some minors and elderly.
- random arrest and detainment of peaceful protesters.
- intimidation of presidential candidates and other leaders of opposition parties and youth organisations on the part of the police and the secret service.
- undue expelling of students involved with political parties and youth organisations from their universities.
- unwarranted breaking and entering of the homes and offices of opposition leaders and activists.
- unwarranted confiscation of properties belonging to political parties and youth organisations.

We call on the Belarusian authorities to release all political prisoners and detainees and to lift any other sanctions against opposition leaders and activists. We would like to mention specifically the detainment of Pavel Seviarynets and the house arrest of Vital Rimashevsky.

In light of the fact that the OSCE election observer mission deemed the elections to be short of accepted democratic standards and the elections can hence not be seen as free and fair, it can hardly be surprising that many citizens expressed their discontent by taking to the street. The excessive response to these protests by the authorities is unacceptable by any standard and certainly does not befit any government that would like to continue to cooperate with the European Union in the Eastern Partnership.

We therefore call on the European Union to suspend the participation of Belarus in its Eastern Partnership Programme indefinitely until the Belarusian authorities significantly improve the human and civil rights conditions, release the political prisoners and detainees and lift the sanctions against them. We also call on the European Union and national governments to enter into permanent dialogue with Belarusian opposition forces, youth organisations and NGO’s and to continuously monitor the political situation in Belarus, in order to be able to respond quickly to new violations.

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