The European Union calls on Belarusian authorities once again to release and exonerate all political prisoners, Maira Mora, head of the European Union’s Delegation to Belarus, says in a statement issued on December 10 on the occasion of International Human Rights Day.
The EU continues to be concerned about the human rights situation in Belarus, she says, describing the existence of political prisoners and politically motivated persecution as the main reason for the concern.
The EU is also concerned about restrictions on the activities of civil society and opposition organizations and on the exercise of freedoms of assembly, association and expression and about barriers for NGOs and political parties to obtain state registration, Ms Mora says.
The EU calls on Belarus to ensure that its citizens are not subjected to discrimination because of their political and religious views, ethnicity and sexual orientation, she says.
Ms Mora notes that Belarus remains the only country in Europe that uses the death penalty. The EU condemns the death sentences imposed in Belarus in 2013 and urges its government to encourage a broader public discussion of the issue and immediately declare a moratorium on executions, she says.
Ms. Mora calls on Minsk to ‘work more constructively’ with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to implement its recommendations for amending the Electoral Code and creating conditions for democratic elections.
The EU urges Belarus to stop limiting political pluralism and start a public discussion of the recently enacted amendments to the Electoral Code and hopes that Belarusian authorities will do their best to ensure the compliance of the 2014 local elections and the 2015 presidential election with OSCE standards, she says.
Ms Mora also calls on the Belarusian government to cooperate with the UN Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur on Belarus.
www.belsat.eu/en, via BelaPAN