EU sanctions miss fire?


Report “The EU Dilemma: What Kind of Dialogue with Belarus?” was presented on June 12, 2013 in Warsaw. The document was prepared by the Working Group on Investments of the Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus.

It is based on a study of open sources, official documents, analytical studies, and interviews with Belarusian and international experts in economics and the social sciences, and civil society activists between July 2012 and May 2013.The report aims to inform stakeholders and decision-makers on the current political, economic, social, and human rights situation in Belarus and offer the international community recommendations for action that may facilitate improvement of the human rights situation and pave the way toward a democratic transition in Belarus.

YURI DZHIBLADZE, The Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus:

“When comparing to the events on December 19, 2010 [the presidential elections] and the year 2011 the human rights situation in Belarus has not improved at all since that time”.

ANDREY SANNIKAU, a former political prisoner, ex-presidential candidate:

“In my opinion, today’s report is more informative because they [its authors] studied the EU’s sanctions and their effectiveness. And they have come to the conclusion that the sanctions do not work”.

According to the authors, the reason is that there are financial interests between Belarus and the EU.

OLGA ZAKHAROVA, The Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus:

“Business is international, and it acts much more effectively and immorally than, for example, human rights defenders do”.

That is why visa restrictions for Belarusian top officials and oligarch taking responsibility for human rights abuse and repressions against opposition and civil society due to their supporting Aliaksandr Lukashenka or backing him financially does not work. Ans it is the Belarusian people who have to survive under the pressure of the wheels of state.

YURI DZHIBLADZE, The Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus:

“The pressure being brought on the political prisoners has increased. It includes exerting both physical and moral coercion aimed at the extraction of asking for mercy or admissions of guilt. Only under such conditions the regime is ready to release them so that they could not pose any threat”.

The authorities are highly unlikely to free the political prisoners for no special reason. On the contrary, they urge economic concessions on the part of the EU. And that is just the beginning.

YURI DZHIBLADZE, The Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus:

“All the laws adopted, and repressive amendments of 2011 have come in their full force. They concern both freedom of assembly and association and freedom of expression. Repressions towards journalists, civil society activists andindependent laywers have not stopped”.

The climate of fear reigns in the country, the authors of the report stress.

OLGA ZAKHAROVA, The Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus:

“We presented our previos reports in Brussels, and they aroused much interest. We know that the corresponding bodies did use the information provided”.

Brussels might receive optimisic reports on the situation in our country but not all are ready to look to its future with optimism: Polish MEP Marek Migalski proposed 20 amendments to Justas Paleckis’ report, Most relating to the problem of mass arrests, prosecution of oppositionists and repression against human rights activists and independent media.

MJ/MS/Belsat

www.belsat.eu/en

See also
Comments