November 24, 2011 – Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs condemns the actions by Belarus authorities, sentencing Belarusian human rights activist AlesBialiatski to 4.5 years in prison. This is proof to the fact that the prosecution and conviction are politically motivated and Belarusian authorities are again turning against representatives of the civil society of Belarus.
Latvia is interested in stable and good relationship with its neighbouring state, Belarus, but disregard for democratic standards and European values following the presidential election of 2010 does not improve the European Union-Belarus relations. It is unacceptable that former presidential candidates and opposition activists are imprisoned, that there is crackdown on civil society and independent mass media and people’s rights to free gatherings are being restricted. We call on Belarus to release all political prisoners.