‘Crisis in Belarus is escalating’: Western diplomats meet with FM Makey

Уладзімір Макей. Фота: ria.ru

The Delegation of the European Union to Belarus together with the diplomatic missions of the EU member states and the embassies of the USA, the UK, Switzerland, Japan issued a joint comments by on Tuesday’s meeting with Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey.

According to the heads of the diplomatic missions, they used the occasion to reiterate their governments’ positions on the situation in the country and on the available means for achieving a peaceful and sustainable resolution of the political and human rights crisis that has developed in Belarus over the past year. They note that the crisis in Belarus is escalating: the persecution of the opposition, media, civil society, and the society at large, including the Polish community in Belarus, has increased. The diplomats reiterate that their governments still stand ready to support and facilitate an inclusive national dialogue in Belarus with a view to helping safeguard Belarus’s sovereignty and independence as well as a safe, democratic, and prosperous future.

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The foreign officials called on authorities to respond to the Belarusians people’s demands to:

  • immediately halt the persecution of all persons engaged in the pro-democracy movement, independent media and civil society; demonstrate respect for the freedoms of opinion, expression and assembly;
  • immediately cease arbitrary detentions, torture, and inhumane treatment of peaceful protesters and political prisoners;
  • immediately release and rehabilitate all political prisoners and those unjustly detained;
  • without delay, investigate human rights violations and prosecute those who authorised and perpetrated acts of violence, torture, inhumane treatment and unlawful actions that have resulted in injuries, trauma, loss of life, as well as in the general environment of lawlessness in the country;
  • start a credible and inclusive political process resulting in free and fair elections under the OSCE/ODIHR’s observation.

The heads of missions called upon the Belarusian authorities to refrain from actions impeding the ability of the diplomatic community in Belarus to execute its standard diplomatic duties in an atmosphere free from intervention and intimidation. The heads of mission also shared their expectations that the Belarusian side would allow the Lithuanian, Polish, Latvian, UK, and US colleagues who had been asked to leave the country to return to Belarus.

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