‘We are concerned about the harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention of several dozens of representatives of civil society and opposition organizations in the run-up to the World Ice Hockey Championship in Belarus,’ the EEAS spokesperson says in a statement. ‘We condemn the use of administrative detention by the Belarusian authorities as an instrument aimed at creating pressure, fear and uncertainty among the young generation of people in Belarus.’
‘We urge the authorities of Belarus to immediately stop these actions and to release all those unjustly detained, dropping all charges against them,’ the statement says. ‘We also reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners.’
‘The EU’s readiness to further develop relations with Belarus remains conditional on concrete steps in Belarus towards democracy, human rights and the rule of law,’ the statement stresses.