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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)

  Liisa Jaakonsaari (S&D). (FI) Mr President, I have met Belarusian political prisoners on many an occasion. They are journalists, as is Mr Poczobut in the case being discussed, and trade union activists. Furthermore, many members of my sister party are, at present, serving time in prisons.

The notion of political prisoner is one that should not exist in Europe. The human rights situation is now worsening in the heart of Europe and, consequently, the European Union needs to be more active and persistent at all levels.

It is now especially important that we prepare for this meeting of Foreign Ministers and add the deterioration of human rights to its agenda. It is absolutely necessary. It is even more important that we should support the young people and students who want to go elsewhere in Europe to study and, in this way, produce a new breed of activists.

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