On December 13, 2012 the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the annual report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2011 and the European Union’s policy on the matter.
“The European Parliament remains extremely concerned at the lack of democracy, rule of law, fundamental freedoms and the respect for human rights in Belarus, the only European Neighbourhood country not to fully participate in the Eastern Partnership and the work of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, especially in the aftermath of the presidential elections in December 2010 and the subsequent violent crackdown on protesters and political opposition, including trials of activists in 2011 which did not conform to international standards and saw disproportionately harsh sentences handed down,” the document says.
MEPs urge the European Union and all of its Member States to remain coherent and consistent in their policies towards Belarus, and to keep up the pressure on the political regime, including through sanctions, among others against enlisted officials, while reaching out to civil society through such tools as enhanced visa facilitation and increased education, training and other exchange opportunities.
The European Parliament expresses strong concern over human rights defender Ales Bialiatski’s imprisonment since August4, 2011 and regrets the actions of the Polish and Lithuanian officials who allowed Ales Bialiatski to be arrested through the forwarding of banking information, and calls for utmost efforts by all actors in the EU to prevent a repetition of such mistakes.
In addition, the EP recalls with concern that Belarus is the only European country to continue use the death penalty.