Rubber-stamping parliament member: “Why should MEPs come?”

Valyantsina Lyavonenka, a member of the House of Representatives, stated that Belarusian MPs were ready to meet with members of the European Parliament unless they continued demanding the release of political prisoners as the main condition for a dialogue. According to human rights degenders’ estimation, at the moment twelve political prisoners and wrongfully convicted opposition activists are kept behind the bars in Belarus.

“What matters most is that we should understand for what purpose a delegation of European Parliament members wants to visit our country in July,” she told Euroradio.

“We are ready to meet, hear some proposals, some comments, see a wish to help with resolving some specific situation. But if they tell us again like they always do, ‘Free political prisoners and then we will have a conversation,’ then why should they come? We already know this stance that has been expressed,” Ms Lyavonenka was quoted as saying.

Valyantsina Lyavonenka, member of the Permanent Commission for International Affairs of the House of Representatives of Belarus, is notorious for her comments on Belarus-EU relations.

It should be noted that the final report by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on the 23 September 2012 parliamentary elections in Belarus concludes that many OSCE commitments were not met, and offers recommendations to bring the conduct of elections in line with fundamental principles for democratic elections.

Belsat, following BelaPAN

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