Andrea Rigoni waits for invitation to Belarus
8:21, — Politics
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s special rapporteur on Belarus an Italian parliamentarian Andrea Rigoni would like to visit the country.
For that he needs an official invitation, a representative of the PACE’s committee on Political Affairs and Democracy Silvia Arcilli.
“Mr. Rigoni would like to pay a visit to Belarus, but in order for that to happen, he needs to receive an invitation from the Belarusian authorities”, - she said.
According to Arcilli, in case of a visit to Belarus Andrea Rigoni intends to meet the representatives of official Minsk, as well as journalists, civic activists and human rights defenders, so that on the ground he gets the full picture of the situation in the country.
Arcilli also pointed out that Rigoni’s report on the situation in Belarus is scheduled to be presented for a PACE discussion in 2015.
Rigoni’s appointment took place in April, because the former PACE rapporteur on Belarus Andres Herkel was not reelected by the Estonian parliament as a member of the national delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly.
Andrea Rigoni worked as a PACE rapporteur on Belarus from February 2007 to November 2009. From November 2009 to June 2011 the position was taken by a Finish parliamentarian Sinikka Hurskaynen. Andres Herkel, appointed a rapporteur on Belarus, was the only one, who did not manage to visit the country because of the attitude of the Belarusian authorities. The chairman of the International Affairs commission of the House of representatives of the National Assembly, the head of the working group on studying the death penalty agenda Mikalaj Samasiejka claimed in the summer of 2013: “In principle, we do not object that the special rapporteur visits Belarus. There were such precedents before, Andrea Rigoni came, then Sinikka Hurskaynen, cooperation was established with them. As to Mr. Herkel, it was told to him that his course was counterproductive. This is the course of criticizing Belarus in the absence of a dialogue”.
Herkel repeatedly expressed public criticism towards the actions of official Minsk and urged the Council of Europe act on the Belarusian authorities along with the European Union’s sanctions.