OSCE PA welcomes release of Kavalenka
16:24, — Politics
OSCE Parliamentary Assembly concerned about the fate of others still behind bars.
“We welcome the news of Kavalenka’s release but remain strongly concerned about the fate of others still serving harsh sentences, like Ales Bialiatski and Zmitser Dashkevich – whose increasingly tough prison conditions are of grave concern,” said Matteo Mecacci, chair of the OSCE PA Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, who recently led the OSCE short-term election observer mission in Belarus.
Representatives of the Holy See in Belarus were also granted permission to visit several political prisoners this week. This is the first visit of diplomatic corps in Belarus to prisoners since the December 2010 crackdown and subsequent arrests. Previous requests to visit political prisoners made by the OSCE PA and the diplomatic community in Belarus have not been granted.
“We hope that this is an indication of some progress,” Mecacci said. “We hope that the release of these prisoners and the allowance for other political prisoners to receive visits from the international community will extend to the others who remain behind bars, convicted on politically-motivated charges.”