Paleckis's report adopted by EP
14:38, — Politics
The European Parliament has adopted today the report on the situation in Belarus prepared by Rapporteur on Belarus Justas Paleckis.
MEPs urged official Minsk to respect human rights and move to democratic reforms to stop the country's self-isolation from Europe.
The document is prepared for the European Commission, the EU Council, the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the EU member states, BelaPAN news agency reports.
The debate on the report in the first reading at a meeting of the EP's Foreign Affairs Committee in May provoked a wide response. Representatives of the Belarusian opposition and human rights activists were indignant at the words about improvements in the human rights situation in Belarus in 2012. Justas Paleckis said he made that conclusion on the ground of information from Belarusian human rights defenders.
About 300 amendments were made and the report was approved by the EP's Committee on Foreign Affairs in the second reading in July.
During the debate on the report on September 11, MEPs emphasised that the release of all Belarusian political prisoners was an essential condition to start a dialogue with Minsk.
The final text of the report reads: “The decrease in the absolute number of politically motivated arrests (down from 868 in 2011 to 235 in 2012, as reported by the Viasna Human Rights Centre) could be attributed to the atmosphere of repressions and intimidation”.
The document says that the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius this November “could become yet another important opportunity for the conditional and gradual improvement of EU-Belarus relations, as long as all political prisoners are released and politically rehabilitated”. Civil society and opposition should be involved in a political dialogue between Minsk and Brussels if the above-mentioned condition is fulfilled, the report underlines.
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