PASOS member in Belarus calls for release of prisoners, EU investigation

December 27, 2010

News Source: PASOS Secretariat, Prague, Czech Republic

Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS) issues joint statement with the Office for a Democratic Belarus in wake of post-election violence and arrests

The EU and the rest of the international community should pressure Belarus to release people detained during a post-election crackdown by President Alexander Lukashenka, according to a statement issued by the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, a PASOS member think tank in Minsk.

“Post-election events bring Belarus back to the situation of 2005-2006, perhaps with less for hope dialogue and engagement. One needs to reflect on the long-term consequences of has happened and put efforts into minimising Belarus’ slide back in its darkest day of repression,” the letter states.

The BISS statement, released jointly with the Office for a Democratic Belarus in Brussells, also asks the EU to demand an investigation into the violence that erupted after the December 19th election in Belarus. Authorities there rounded up more than 600 people, including several presidential candidates who had faced off against the Belarusian strongman. Thousands have protested against the reelection of Lukashenka, as international observers reported that the vote was rigged in his favor.

The statement also calls for the EU to declare those detained to be political prisoners, to declare its intention to continue dialogue with Belarus only after they are released, and to offer aid and support to those arrested and their families.

BISS joined PASOS earlier this year. It was created by leading Belarusian experts, journalists, and public figures to establish a platform for dialogue inside the Belarusian analytical community and between the expert community, society, and the international community.

PASOS has likewise expressed its support for pro-democracy forces in Belarus, issuing a similar statement demanding the release of prisoners and an international inquiry into the crackdown.

A full copy of the BISS statement can be downloaded below.

statement_Dec_22.pdf (10.17 kB)

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