The Council of Europe calls for sanctions against Belarus

The Council of Europe calls for sanctions against Belarus

Minsk : Belarus | Jan 25, 2012 at 8:05 AM PST
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Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly called on Member States to join the EU sanctions against Belarus until it releases political prisoners and do not put a moratorium on the death penalty.

In a resolution adopted on Wednesday, ZP RE urges Member States to "join the European Union sanctions against Belarus until he be released and fully rehabilitated political prisoners and do not enter a moratorium on the death penalty."

The Council of Europe evaluates the resolution that has deteriorated to the observance of human rights in Belarus, as well as civil and political freedoms.

"The Belarusian authorities intensify the response to any attempt to oppose, is still practiced intimidation, arbitrary arrest and harassment of members of the opposition, independent media, civil society activists and human rights defenders" - stressed in the resolution, expressing the conviction that this state of affairs proves that "the authorities in Minsk intend to turn their backs on Europe and the values ​​that it is weapons."

The Council of Europe recalls that many Belarusian political prisoners after release reported that they were forced to admit guilt, they were tortured and they could not benefit from assistance from lawyers.

The resolution called on the Belarusian authorities to "release and rehabilitate all political prisoners, guarantee freedom of assembly and cease using force to disperse protests."Also called on them to "stop the pressures against journalists and independent media, permit the return of the OSCE mission in Belarus and resume operations and to immediately establish a moratorium on the death penalty."

The Parliamentary Assembly also decided to intensify cooperation with representatives of Belarusian civil society, independent media and opposition forces.

Belarus does not stop the flow have been reports of pressures on opposition and independent media. On Wednesday, the wife of former presidential candidate of Belarus Andrei Sannikau, held a penalty five years penal colony, said that as a result of torture he signed the request for pardon addressed to President Alexander Lukashenko. On Tuesday a court in Minsk upheld the sentence 4.5 years penal colony for the head of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Alesia Bialackiego, and on Monday the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAZ) stated that in 2011 intensified the repression of Belarusian journalists - as many as 150 times were detained during the execution of work.

The EU on Monday expanded the criteria for applying sanctions against representatives of the Belarusian regime. This decision will allow the Union to punish more than ever the number of Belarusians seriously violate human rights and cooperating companies with Lukashenko. Sanctions against government officials in Minsk, including Lukashenko, the EU introduced in connection with counterfeiting results of presidential elections in 2006 and the repression against the opposition in Belarus. It froze during the thaw in relations between Brussels and Minsk, but after the presidential elections 19 December 2010, broken down by the opposition demonstration on voting and the conviction of its participants, including former candidates of the opposition, to stay in the colony resumed sanctions. Since then, Brussels, and now expanded it to enter the EU ban covers more than 200 people.

EU sanctions also relied on the freezing of assets of companies. This allowed to freeze assets of three companies associated with the regime, and also prohibit exports to Belarus material that could be used to repress or suppress opposition demonstrations.

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Alexander Lukashenko has ruled Belarus since 1994
Alexander Lukashenko has ruled Belarus since 1994
amagda is based in London, England, United Kingdom, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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