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The European Parliament demands the release of all political prisoners

Today, on December 14, 2023, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution addressing political prisoners in Belarus and recent repressions against the family members of Belarusian politicians and activists. The content of this Resolution holds significant importance for several reasons.

Informally referred to as the "Resolution of Mikalai Statkevich," it can be characterized as a special resolution specifically focused on the situation of political prisoners in Belarus. This emphasis is crucial as it highlights the deteriorating conditions and increasing repression faced by political prisoners, including their isolation, lack of communication, bullying, denial of rights such as correspondence, access to legal representation, and medical care. Instances of torture are also noted.

Importantly, the European Parliament references the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which explicitly identifies the conditions of detention in Belarus as constituting cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment and torture. Such treatment can be categorized as a crime against humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute.

Furthermore, the European Parliament not only highlights the alarming situation with political prisoners in Belarus but also calls upon EU member states to take specific measures to exert pressure on the Lukashenko regime. These measures include the following steps:

  • Increased sanctions pressure;

  • Summoning the remaining diplomatic representatives of the regime to obtain evidence of the condition and whereabouts of political prisoners deprived of communication with the outside world;

  • Documenting international crimes and bringing perpetrators to justice;

  • Criminal prosecution and application of sanctions against all those responsible for human rights violations and war crimes under the Lukashenko regime.

The inclusion of these measures in the text of the Resolution was initiated with the active participation of the National Anti-Crisis Management team.

Head of NAM Pavel Latushka noted:

“In its Resolution, the European Parliament clearly states the demand for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, their full rehabilitation, and compensation for the damage caused to them. This position is consistent with the positions recently voiced by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell and US State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller - pressure on the Lukashenko regime and sanctions against it will not be eased until all political prisoners are released.

In the context of the adoption of this Resolution, it is also worth noting that on November 1, 2023, during a rally in Warsaw, our team took the initiative to adopt a resolution that is in many ways consonant with today’s Resolution of the European Parliament. The resolution at the meeting was unanimously adopted and subsequently sent to the governments of EU member states, the USA, Canada, Great Britain, and the European Commission.

Today, we see that the voice of Belarusians is heard, and the activity of the diaspora in the struggle for the release of political prisoners is extremely important. Our joint efforts are producing results. We must build upon them and continue the fight to free our people and bring to justice those who took our people hostage. We have no right to give up. Only through responsibility, only through powerful pressure can we free everyone."

Long live Belarus!


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