Radoslaw Sikorski meets with Andrei Sannikov and Iryna Khalip
22:27, — Politics
The leader of European Belarus civil campaign, Andrei Sannikov, and his wife Iryna Khalip had a meeting with the Polish Foreign Minister.
The Polish MFA reports that the meeting took place in Warsaw on March 6. The participants focused on assessment of the situation in Belarus, including the state of the opposition.
Andrei Sannikov called on the West to more actively participate in the struggle to release the Belarusian political prisoners. Minister Radoslaw Sikorski spoke about support of the democratisation of Belarus and expressed his confidence that the recently formed European Foundation for Democracy would be a new effective tool to support the Belarusian civil society.
Andrei Sannikov was a presidential candidate in the elections of 19 December 2010. He was arrested and charged with “organising mass disorders” after brutal suppression of protests in Minsk centre. He was sentenced to 5 years in a medium security penal colony. Andrei Sannikov was granted early release on April 14, 2012. He now lives in the UK, where he received political asylum.
Iryna Khalip lives in Belarus. She is a correspondent of Russia's Novaya Gazeta. In May 2011, she was given a two-year suspended sentence for participating in the post-election protests in Minsk. Officially, she cannot leave the Belarusian capital, but she was permitted a foreign trip to see her husband some weeks ago. She left her five-year-old son in Belarus. Iryna Khalip is supposed to return to Belarus by April 3.
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