European Parliament deferred vote on Belarusian issue

The vote on the draft resolution containing the call for relocating the 2014 World Ice Hockey Championship has been put off untill the Parliament’s next plenary session in Brussels which is to be held at the end of March, 2012.

The decision has been made due to the fact that the day before Aliaksandr Lukashenka denied mercy for Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou who were sentenced to death for the organization of the terroristic act in Minsk underground on April, 11, 2011.

The European Parliament intended to call on the EU Council to impose smart economic sanctions on Belarus, the draft resolution reads.

It also «calls on the National Ice Hockey Federations of the EU Member States and all other democratic countries to urge the IIHF, including at its next Congress in May in Helsinki, Finland, to re-discuss its earlier decision envisaging the possibility of relocating the 2014 World Ice Hockey Championship from Belarus to another host country until all political prisoners, recognised by international human rights organisations as “prisoners of conscious”, are released and until the regime shows clear signs of its commitment to respect human rights and the rule of law.»

The European Parliament is about to call for « the unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners». It reiterates that «there cannot be any progress in the EU-Belarus dialogue without progress by Belarus in terms of democracy, human rights and rule of law and until all political prisoners, including Ales Bialiatski, Chair of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna” and Vice-President of the FIDH, two ex-presidential candidates Mikalai Statkevich and Andrei Sannikau, heads of the presidential campaigns of democratic opposition candidates Pavel Seviarynets and Dzmitry Bandarenka, and Syarhey Kavalenka, a political prisoner detained for an alleged breach of house arrest, who has been on a prolonged hunger strike, which has led to a critical deterioration in his health and directly threatens his life, are unconditionally released and their civil rights are fully rehabilitated.»

The parliamentaries condemn the continuous persecution of human rights defenders and members of the democratic opposition and the harassment of civil society activists and the independent media in Belarus for political reasons.

In a particular item the offensive rhetoric used by Aliaksandr Lukashenka vis-à-vis the German Foreign Minister is condemned as well.

It is to be recalled that on March 4, 2012 Aliaksandr Lukashenka warned Europe of a harsh response to its sanctions. He did not hesitate to have a fling at the sexual orientation of German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. «It is better to be a dictator than gay. But let him go, rather, the question is that all of us remember the middle of the XXth century and the things that the world got out of their [German – Belsat] dictatorship. Our people still have not come round. That is why it is not them to reproach us for some dictatorship. I have no desire to reason about the subject at all,» Lukashenka said.


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