Belarusian opposition leaders, Israeli envoy to discuss issue of political prisoners

His comment on Belarusian political prisoners was ‘misunderstood’, Josef Shagal, Israeli ambassador to Belarus, said.

In a recent interview, Mr Shagal claimed that all those called political prisoners in Belarus were criminals convicted for throwing stones at the parliament building, which has evoked a storm of public criticism.

Belarusian opposition politicians are scheduled to meet with Mr Shagal on February 14, Uladzimir Niakliayeu, chairman of civil campaign Tell the Truth!, says.

He was eventually received by Mr Shagal, who invited opposition leaders for a meeting to clear up misunderstandings.

“Shagal expressed regret that most of his information about the political situation in Belarus came from government sources,” Mr Niakliayeu said. “He said that he would like to meet with opposition leaders to balance things out. I’ve passed his request to him and they have accepted his invitation. Tomorrow we’ll discuss Shagal’s controversial interview, ask our questions and see what should be done next.”

Apart from Mr Niakliayeu, the meeting on Friday is expected to feature Aliaksei Yanukevich, chairman of the Belarusian People’s Front; Pavel Seviarynets, co-chairman of Belarusian Christian Democracy; Aliaksandr Milinkevich, chairman of Movement for Freedom; Siarhei Kaliakin, chairman of Fair World, the Belarusian Party of the Left; and Anatol Liabedzka, chairman of the United Civic Party., via BelaPAN

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