Israeli leaders petitioned to recall envoy to Belarus

A group of former political prisoners and relatives of President Lukashenka’s political opponents currently held behind bars have demanded the recall of Israeli Ambassador Yosef Shagal over his recent remarks.

46 persons have sent a petition to this effect to Israeli President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, speaker of Knesset.

In a recent interview, Mr Shagal claimed that all those called political prisoners in Belarus were in fact criminal offenders convicted for throwing rocks at the parliament building. The petition condemns the ambassador’s remarks as unacceptable for a foreign diplomat and accuses him of portraying his opinion as Israel’s official stance.

The petitioners note that the European Union has declared imprisoned opposition activists in Belarus as political prisoners and imposed sanctions on Belarusian government officials.

“We find it obvious that after making remarks that were offensive to Belarus’ pro-democratic community Mr. Shagal’s further stay in the post in our country will hardly contribute to maintaining the positive image of the State of Israel in Belarusian society,” warns the petition., via BelaPAN

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