Belarus: EU issues declaration on violence against members of Coordination Council

Photo: European Union
Photo: European Union

On 12 September, the EU High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell issued a declaration on behalf of the EU in response to the escalation of violence and intimidation against members of the Coordination Council in Belarus.

“The EU deplores the increasingly open disregard for the rule of law in Belarus, in particular the escalation of violence and forced exile of members of the Coordination Council, in violation of Belarus’ domestic laws and its international obligations,” Borrell stressed.

According to the EU, all Council Presidium members, except for Nobel Prize Laureate Sviatlana Alexievich, have been arrested or forced into exile.

“In solidarity, EU diplomats are staying with her intermittently,” added Mr. Borrell. “Maxim Znak, Maryja Kaliesnikava, Siarhei Dyleusky, Liliya Ulasova have been illegally arrested. Earlier, Pavel Latushka and Volha Kavalkova had been forced into exile”.

Josep Borrell stressed that “civil society and actors engaged in discussions on the future of Belarus, including members of the Coordination Council, must be protected from intimidation, forced exile, arbitrary arrest and violence”. The EU also urged the Belarusian authorities to release immediately all unlawfully detained people.

“The European Union recalls the need for an inclusive national dialogue with broader society, in particular the Coordination Council, leading to a peaceful solution and responding positively to demands of the Belarusian people for new democratic elections,” the EU statement said.

In conclusion the EU reiterated its determination to impose sanctions on “individuals responsible for violence, the repression of peaceful protests and the falsification of election results” and that it is “ready to take further restrictive measures as necessary”.

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Read the full declaration