Jerzy Buzek concerned about the situation in Belarus
European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek has expressed his concern about recent reports of repression and intimidation of civil society groups in Belarus. In Strasbourg, Jerzy Buzek met Anatoly Lebedko and Jaroslav Romanchuk, leaders of the United Civil Party (UCP) in Belarus who reported to President Buzek about recent serious intimidation by the Belarus' authorities against democratic opposition parties and civil society groups, including yesterday's police raids and searches as well as new politically motivated detention of several activists.
"I am very concerned about the recent worsening of the human rights situation in Belarus, we see no improvements but a clear deterioration, and this is deeply worrying me", Jerzy Buzek said after the meeting.
Jerzy Buzek deplores the fact that the local elections on 25 April 2010 were disappointing and did not bring any visible improvements in how elections are held both in terms of transparency and meeting democratic standards.
Buzek points to the fact that Belarus is the only European country that still uses the death penalty as it recently did in two cases.
President Buzek expresses his concern about increasing pressure on independent media in Belarus.
President Buzek said: "I call on the Belarus authorities to stop immediately all repression and intimidation of civil society groups and to get back on the way to democratisation."
Jerzy Buzek underlined that the EU's gradual re-engagement and conditional dialogue with the Belarus government must be accompanied by real progress in the field of democracy and clear signs of respect of human rights. Jerzy Buzek stressed the fact that the EU's targeted sanctions against the Belarusian authorities are at the moment suspended, but will be revisited by the Council in autumn 2010.
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