Statement by Filip Kaczmarek on the eviction of the “Viasna” Human Rights Centre from its Minsk office

November 29, 2012

Filip Kaczmarek, Chair of the EP Delegation for relations with Belarus, made a following statement on the eviction of the “Viasna” Human Rights Centre from its Minsk office: 

” On behalf of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Belarus, I strongly condemn the eviction by the Belarusian authorities of the “Viasna” Human Rights Centre from its Minsk office on Monday 26 November 2012.

According to reports, the authorities closed down the office of Viasna in Minsk on Monday morning and sealed off its doors, further to a warning letter sent some days earlier. This action constitutes an unacceptable violation by Belarusian authorities of the fundamental rights of freedom of association and freedom of expression.

This event also constitutes a new attack against Viasna, a leading Belarusian human rights organisation whose Chairman, Ales Bialatski, was arbitrarily arrested on 4 August 2011. In this context, I would like to reiterate the European Parliament’s call to release Mr Bialatski and all political prisoners in Belarus immediately and unconditionally.

I finally urge the Belarusian authorities to comply with their own commitment to respect international human rights standards and to end all forms of harassment against human rights defenders”.

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