2013 02/12

The main topic of the round table, which was held in Vilnius on 29.11.2013 during the summit of representatives of civil society and the governments of the countries participating in the program Eastern Partnership, was the question “How to promote human rights in Belarus?”.

Moderator of the round table was Maria Sadouskaya-Komlach, chief project coordinator of the European Radio for Belarus (Poland).

The participants were Aleh Hulak (BHC), Tatsiana Raviaka (president of the Belarusian Human Rights House of Boris Zvozskau, the representative of HRC “Viasna”), Janna Litvina (BAJ).

Major language of the round-table discussion in Vilnius was Belarusian. For foreign participants there was simultaneous translation into English.

The participants noted that in the current situation the full participation of Belarus in the Eastern Partnership is hampered by the existence of political prisoners, the lack of democratic reforms and the lack of desire to move closer to human values. Belarusian authorities are lobbying for a more pragmatic approach of the Eastern Partnership, focusing on the economy and not on established values and human rights.

It was noted that such an approach is a concern among human rights activists. EP and specially designed European Dialogue of modernization slowly make some changes in the Belarusian society, but they do not become effective tools to direct the authorities to democratization and improving the situation with human rights.

Roundtable was held parallel to the summit Bў-ROOM. The discussion has focused attention on the current human rights situation in the country. Aleh Hulak presented the results of a recent poll about what Belarusians think and know about human rights. The moderator Maria Sadouskaya-Komlach started a discussion about how to improve the adoption and expand the influence of human rights in the country.

In addition to these participants there were many representatives of Belarusian civil and political communities in Belarus, heads of foreign institutions and other persons participating in Bў-ROOM at the round table, who were very interested in the mentioned problems.

The participants expressed opinions and ideas about the expectations of the public and human rights activists, programs and policies relating to the Eastern Partnership for the period after the Vilnius summit.

Photos of the discussion can be found here – www.licviny.info
Ales LETA (Bў-ROOM, Vilnius)
Photo A.Lapitski

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