European Socialists call for action against Belarus government

Thu 1 Sep 2005

European Socialists call for action against Belarus government

On the initiative of Polish MEP Marius Siwiec, the Socialist Group on 31 August discussed again in Brussels the deteriorating political situation in Belarus under President Lukashenko.

Following new evidence of further serious violations of human rights and democracy in Belarus, socialist MEPs reiterated their commitment to help building a functioning political opposition and civic society in Europe’s last dictatorship. The Socialist Group has always been active in the past promoting democracy through activities on the ground in Belarus and through pressure from outside.

Marek Siwiec, leader of Polish Socialist MEPs said: "We call on the EP to launch an initiative involving all European institutions to maximise political pressure on Belarus. We have adopted many good and useful political resolutions in the EP in the past, which remain valid. It is time to go beyond these measures and concentrate efforts involving the Council and the Commission to step up pressure for reforms in Belarus. I invite all other democratic political groups in this Parliament to work together with the Socialist Group. The situation in Belarus is too serious to allow for party political rivalries."

Jan Marinus Wiersma, Vice President of the PES Group responsible for Enlargement and Eastern Europe said: "The situation has been untenable for far too long. Lukashenko’s regime continues to ignore all warnings and calls for enhancing democracy in the country. He keeps political prisoners who are incarcerated without fair trial and gets away with it scot free. Political opposition is intimidated, frequently subject to violence and practically forbidden. It is ridiculous that the EP has a delegation for relations with Belarus but we are barred from entering the country and meet with our colleagues in Belarus. We also need an honest and frank debate about Russia’s role in this situation."

Source: Socialist Group in the European Parliament