2009 17/01

1prav_i_2infa_fot.jpgAccording to Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, European Parliament has adopted a provisional resolution on the political situation in Belarus.

The resolution mentions a number of positive signs in Belarus’ inner policy:

1.  Welcomes the decision by the Belarusian authorities to register the ‘For Freedom’ movement headed by former Belarusian presidential candidate Aliaksandr Milinkevich; hopes that the Belarusian Government will improve conditions governing the registration and work of other non-governmental groups, including political parties and the ‘Nasha Viasna’ human rights organisation;

2.  Welcomes the decision by the Belarusian authorities to allow the printing and distribution of the two independent newspapers, Narodnaia Volia and Nasha Niva; points out,at the same time, that there are still 13 independent newspapers awaiting registration; welcomes the decision by the Belarusian Government to discuss the international Internet media standards and to consult the Belarusian Association of Journalists on these issues; hopes that suitable conditions will also be created for the work of other independent media in Belarus, including possibilities for advertising;

3.  Notes Belarus’ readiness to discuss in detail the OSCE/ODIHR recommendations regarding improvements to the electoral law; considers this an important and encouraging step on the part of Belarus and looks forward to its swift implementation and to further steps in line with the EU’s expectations;

4.  Welcomes the release of political prisoners in Belarus, but deplores the fact that Alyaksandr Kazulin, Sergei Parsyukevich and Andrei Kim do not enjoy all the rights guaranteed to Belarusian citizens by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and, as in the case of Alyaksandr Barazenka, who was held in custody for weeks awaiting trial for his participation in a January 2008 demonstration, also criticises the fact that some other activists remain subject to various forms of restrictions on their freedom;

At the same time it points out that in order to significantly improve relations with the EU, Belarus should:

(1) remain a country without political prisoners,

(2) guarantee freedom of expression for the media,

(3) continue to cooperate with the OSCE on reform of the electoral law,

(4) improve conditions for the work of NGOs, and

(5) guarantee freedom of assembly and political association;

Apart from that, the resolution stresses that the democratic opposition must be part of the process of gradual re-engagement with Belarus.

Ales Leta,


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