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 Full text 
Thursday, 5 July 2012 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Freedom of expression in Belarus, in particular, the case of Andrzej Poczobut (debate)

  Paul Murphy, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, in order to maintain its grip on power, the Lukashenko dictatorship relies on brutal repression against anyone involved in opposition activity, critical journalism, the defence of minority rights, the defence of human rights or the genuine independent trade union activity which exists.

The arrest and detention of Ales Bialiatski, Chairman of the Viasna Human Rights Centre, is an illustration of this repression. He should be released immediately, together with all prisoners detained for opposition to the regime.

This Parliament should also be calling for an immediate moratorium on executions and the abolition of the death penalty. I call on the international trade union movement to give its solidarity and its active support to the struggle of working people in Belarus.

The genuine grass-roots trade unions need to be built to defend the interests of the majority of the population in the struggle against mass privatisations and liberalisations of basic foodstuffs and to fundamentally democratise society and the economy to ensure that the wealth can be used in the interests of the majority of the population rather than a tiny political and economic elite.

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