OSCE PA President visits charter97.org office (Photo)
14:29, — Politics
Riccardo Migliori, charter97.org editor and Belarusian opposition leaders discussed the situation in Belarus.
The President of the OSCE PA visited the Warsaw office of charter97.org website on September 25. The website staff has to work in exile due to persecution by Belarusian authorities.
The OSCE PA president met with charter97.org editor-in-chief Natallia Radzina, former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov's sister Iryna Bahdanava, former political prisoner Alyaksandr Atroshchankau, Andrei Sannikov's former campaign's manager Uladzimir Kobets and daughter of former political prisoner and coordinator of European Belarus civil campaign Zmitser Bandaranka, Yulia.
Belarusians thanked the OSCE PA president for the unbiased and principled position of the Organization in relation to the “parliamentary elections” held in Belarus on September 23. Riccardo Migliori said it was a new situation, in his opinion, because Belarusians obviously ignored the “elections”. The real voter turnout was twice as low as the official one, he says.
Charter97.org editor Natallia Radzina called on the OSCE PA president to take seriously the problem of Belarusian political prisoners and demand their immediate release. The journalist thinks the European Union should immediately impose economic sanctions on the regime of Lukashenka and his business.
Natallia Radzina noted the illegitimate “parliament” cannot represent the country in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and called on Riccardo Migliori to suspend all types of cooperation with official Minsk.
Uladzimir Kobets remarked “the only place for Lukashenka today is The Hague”. “Lukashenka is a problem not only of Belarus, but of whole Europe. We are watching the rapid Lukashenkanization of Ukraine and Russia. Dictators around the world, united in the 'black international', try to retain power in their countries. Unfortunately, the 'black international' is more consolidated than democratic countries, which cannot even agree on sanctions against the Belarusian regime.”
Iryna Bahdanava stressed torture and pressure were used against prisoners of conscience. “The release of political prisoners should be the primary task when it come to creating a strategy on Belarus,” Andrei Sannikov's sister said.
Yulia Bandarenka turned attention that prisoners of conscience should not only be released, but also rehabilitated, because even freed opposition activists remain hostages in the country.
Alyaksandr Atroshchankau supported the idea of immediate introducing sanctions against Lukashenka. In his view, the dictatorship found itself in a difficult economic state and Europe has all tools to influence the situation and trigger democratic changes in the country.
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