MEP: “Contacting with regime is betraying democratic ideals”

At the point of a July preparatory meeting in the frames of the prospective EaP summit Polish MEP Marek Migalski addressed to the bloc’s foreign ministers. In his letter Dr Migalski raised doubts about Belarusian FM Uladzimir Makey’s participation in the summit meeting in Vilnius.

On June 24, 2013 the Council of the European Union decided to freeze visa sanctions against Mr Makey. The representatives of the Belarusian opposition have negatively perceived this gesture of the European Union, Dr Migalski stresses.

“Carrying on a dialogue with the regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka which didn’t fulfill the condition of release and full rehabilitation of all political prisoners is a wrong and improper decision, said opposition. Stanislau Shushkevich, the first leader of independent Belarus stressed that it shows the inconsistency of the EU and leads to the strengthening of the dictatorship. Mikalai Statkevich, the last presidential candidate in Belarus, who is still in a penal colony, believes that direct contacts of the democratic countries leaders with the Belarusian regime officials is a betrayal of the ideals of democracy and an attempt to legitimize the dictatorship,” the letter says.

The Polish MEP makes an attempt to draw the ministers’ attention to the fact that according to the reports of Belarusian and international human rights organizations the situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate referring to the fact that on July 1, 2013 Andrey Haydukou, another opposition activist, was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison. There are still more than a dozen of political prisoners detained in the Belarusian prisons and dozens of other Belarusian citizens have restricted civil rights and civil liberties as a result of politically motivated trials in 2011-2012, Dr Migalski reminds. Moreover, as Belarus is the only European country that didn’t declare the moratorium on the death penalty and in the last 1.5 month Belarusian authorities have already issued 3 death sentences, he says.

“Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas, who received the Sakharov Prize in Strasbourg last week, called Belarus a disgrace of Europe. He stressed that there could not be a tacit acceptance of the authoritarian regime on the European Union borders. Please do not forget about the Belarusian political prisoners and the words of Fariñas during a meeting with Uladzimir Makey which will take place later this month in Brussels. I appeal to you to raise a question of the political prisoners and to call for their immediate release and rehabilitation during the negotiations with the Belarusian foreign ministry,” the MEP asks in the letter.