Komunikaty

Joint statement on the sentencing of Maryia Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak

Joint statement by:

· the Vice-President responsible for the Sakharov Network, MEP Heidi Hautala,

· the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Belarus, MEP Robert BIEDROŃ,

· the Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, MEP Maria ARENA, and

· the European Parliament's Standing Rapporteur on Belarus, MEP Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS

on the sentencing of leading opposition figures Maryia Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak in Belarus

Brussels, 7 September 2021 - "Yesterday, a 'court' in Minsk found leading opposition figures Maryia Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak guilty on trumped-up charges of trying to seize power and extremism, and sentenced them to lengthy prison terms.

A laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and recipient of the International Women of Courage Award and one of the most prominent figures of the Belarusian democratic forces, Ms Kalesnikava was sentenced to 11 years in general regime penal colony for her support for presidential candidates who defied Aliaksandr Lukashenka in the fraudulent election of 9 August 2020. Likewise, Mr Znak, a prominent lawyer who also participated peacefully in the campaign process, was sentenced to 10 years in enhanced regime penal colony. [...]

Joint statement on the first anniversary of the fraudulent presidential election in Belarus

Joint statement by:

· the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, MEP David McAllister

· the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Belarus, MEP Robert BIEDROŃ, and

· the European Parliament's Standing Rapporteur on Belarus, MEP Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS

on the 1st anniversary of the fraudulent presidential election in Belarus

Brussels, 9 August 2021 - "9 August marks the first anniversary of the presidential election in Belarus, won in the polls by the candidate of the united opposition, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, and stolen from the people by autocrat Aliaksandr Lukashenka. This election sparked the rise of civic activism and the political awakening of Belarusian society, which in turn led to popular protests, often led by women, of unprecedented proportions in the country's history.

One year has passed and yet, despite the international community's repeated calls for dialogue, the regime's all-out, brutal crackdown on opposition figures, independent media and civil society representatives shows no sign of abating. On the contrary, Lukashenka's henchmen have ominously pledged to 'liquidate' all remaining non-governmental organisations in order to silence all voices of dissent.

In addition, by weaponising illegal migration, the regime carries out hybrid attacks on Lithuania and violates the European Union's external borders.

Lukashenka has already lost Belarus - owing his continued usurpation of power to crude violence, and to the support of the security apparatus and of the Kremlin. In this respect, we insist that any agreements concluded by Lukashenka or on his behalf, notably with Russia, should not be recognised as legitimate or valid by the international community. (...)

Joint statement by leading MEPs on the safety of Belarusian dissidents

Joint statement on the suspicious death of Mr Shishov, the attempted abduction of Ms Timanouskaya, the forced closure of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) and the closed trial of Ms Kalesnikava and Mr Znak

Brussels, 4 August 2021 - "We are deeply worried by the suspicious death of Vitaly Shishov in Kyiv, which looks like a political killing. Mr Shishov fled Belarus after participating in last year's protests against Lukashenka's regime. Since then, he was the head of the NGO 'Belarusian House in Ukraine', reaching out to fellow Belarusians who fled repression to seek refuge in Ukraine. Mr Shishov felt under constant surveillance and recounted instances of being followed recently. As the Ukrainian authorities have opened a murder investigation, we hope that light will be shed on this case as soon as possible.[..]

Joint statement on the latest crackdown on CSOs in Belarus

Joint statement by:

· the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Belarus, MEP Robert BIEDROŃ, and

· the European Parliament's Standing Rapporteur on Belarus, MEP Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS

on the use of migrants by A. Lukashenka's regime to destabilise Lithuania, and on the latest crackdown on independent journalists, civil society activists and human rights defenders in Belarus

Brussels, 15 July 2021 - "We deplore the despicable instrumentalisation of illegal migrants by the Belarusian regime as part of hybrid measures aimed at pressuring the EU in response to its fourth set of restrictive measures. More specifically, a spectacular surge in illegal migrants is being orchestrated by Aliaksandr Lukashenka's acolytes in order to destabilise Lithuania, an EU Member State that has led by example by denouncing widespread human rights violations and providing asylum to many Belarusian opposition figures.

At the same time, we strongly condemn the coordinated attacks on prominent civil society activists, human rights defenders and journalists, including police raids, searches of offices and homes, as well as other measures designed to prevent them from revealing the truth about the scale of regime's crimes. We are deeply concerned that at least twelve non-state media outlets such as Nasha Niva, as well as the Belarusian Association of Journalists, the Association of Belarusians Worldwide 'Batskaushchyna', the Centre for Economic Research (BEROC), the Human Rights Centre 'Viasna' (whose founder, 2020 Sakharov Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski, and Deputy Chairperson Valiantsin Stefanovic, have not been reachable since the police raided their homes) and the Belarusian Helsinki Committee have been targeted by this latest crackdown.[...]

Joint Statement on the Belarusian regime's decision to suspend its participation in the Eastern Partnership

Joint Statement by the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, MEP David McALLISTER, the Chair of the Delegation for Relations with Belarus, MEP Robert BIEDROŃ, and the European Parliament's Standing Rapporteur on Belarus, MEP Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS

Brussels, 30 June 2021 - "By suspending its participation in the Eastern Partnership, recalling its Ambassador to the EU and suggesting to the Head of the EU Delegation to also return to Brussels for consultations, the regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka has once again demonstrated an irrational and isolationist behaviour, which we deplore and reject. We also condemn its intention to suspend the readmission agreement with the EU, which is an act of retaliation against the recently expanded EU sanctions and paves the way for facilitating illegal migration to the EU. [...]

Joint statement on the adoption of a fourth set of sanctions against Lukashenka's regime

Joint statement by:

· the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Belarus, MEP Robert BIEDROŃ, and

· the European Parliament's Standing Rapporteur on Belarus, MEP Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS

on the adoption of a fourth set of sanctions against Lukashenka's regime

Brussels, 25 June 2021 - "We welcome wholeheartedly the endorsement by the EU leaders of a fourth set of restrictive measures targeting Aliaksandr Lukashenka's regime, in line with the European Parliament's resolution of 10 June 2021.

Coordinated with Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, these additional sanctions hit 78 Belarusian officials, including the transport and defence Ministers, under the form of asset freezes and travel bans, as well as eight state entities.

Furthermore, the existing arms embargo is tightened and exports of communications equipment that could be used for spying are banned. Belarus' access to the EU capital markets is restricted; so is trade in petroleum products, potash, and goods used for the production or manufacturing of tobacco products.

These measures were much needed following last month's outrageous interception of an EU civilian plane, the subsequent arrest of a prominent journalist, Mr Raman Pratasevich, and of his companion, Ms Sofia Sapega, and the despicable use of migrants to destabilise Lithuania, an EU Member State that had led by example by providing safe-haven to many Belarusian opposition figures. [...]

Joint Statement on the continued detention of political prisoners in Belarus

Joint Statement by the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Belarus, MEP Robert Biedroń and the European Parliament's Standing Rapporteur on Belarus, MEP Petras Auštrevičius, on the continued detention of political prisoners in Belarus


Brussels, 2 June 2021 - "Almost ten months have passed since last year's fraudulent presidential election in Belarus. Aliaksandr Lukashenka's regime has reacted with crude brutality and lawlessness to the Belarusian people's legitimate struggle for freedom. As a consequence, every day brings us sorrowful news. [...]

Joint Statement on the arrest of Raman Pratasevich

Brussels, 23 May 2021 - "Today, Belarusian authorities have diverted a passenger plane flying from Athens to Vilnius, using an alleged bomb threat as a pretext to have it intercepted by the Belarusian air force and oblige it to perform an emergency landing in Minsk. The sole purpose of this horrendous manoeuvre was manifestly to arrest one of the passengers of the plane, Mr Raman Pratasevich, co-founder and former editor-in-chief of the opposition Nexta channel. The state-owned news agency Belta admitted that the whole operation had been carried out by Aliaksandr Lukashenka's direct order.

The Nexta channel has been a major source of independent information for Belarusian citizens, and Mr Pratasevich has been vocal about the regime's dire human rights record. He has been living in exile in Poland and Lithuania since 2019 to avoid fabricated criminal charges and may now face death penalty in Belarus. [...]

Joint Statement on the crackdown on the Tut.by media portal in Belarus

Brussels, 19 May 2021 - "We strongly condemn the unrelenting repression by Aliaksandr Lukashenka's regime against independent media, underscored by yesterday's crackdown on Tut.by - the most influential online media outlet in Belarus.

The authorities have raided Tut.by's editorial office and regional branches, searched the homes of several of its staff members and initiated criminal proceedings on far-fetched tax evasion grounds. In addition, at the Prosecutor General's request, the Ministry of Information has blocked its website, invoking alleged violations of the highly controversial law on mass media. By now, at least thirteen Tut.by journalists and staff members are still being detained, while the whereabouts of some others are still unknown. [...]

Statement by the Chair of the D-BY on the renewed attacks on activists of the Polish minority in Belarus

Brussels, 14 April 2021 - "I condemn the renewed and malicious attacks by Aliaksandr Lukashenka's regime on representatives of the Polish minority in Belarus, which are part of a coordinated anti-Polish and anti-EU propaganda by the regime.

I strongly deplore the fact that Mr Andrzej Pisalnik, prominent Polish activist and Secretary of board of the ZPB - who was invited to give his testimony during the today's meeting of the Delegation for relations with Belarus, was arrested together with his wife Inessa Todryk-Pisalnik, right before the Delegation's meeting, in an outrageous attempt to prevent him from giving a testimony about the scale of repressions against the Polish minority in Belarus to the representatives of the EU institutions. [...]