Declaration "On the situation in Belarus"
The authorities of Belarus still pursue the policy of violation of fundamental democratic principles. They refuse to follow OSCE and Council of Europe standards and values. Right to free speech, expression, and association are routinely violated. The religious and linguistic discrimination is constantly pursued by the state. Recently three journalists, Mr Mikola Markievic and Mr Paval Mazejka from the independent weekly PAHONIA and Mr Viktar Ivaskievic, the editor-in-chief of the independent trade union newspaper RABOCY, Vice Chairman of the BPF Party were recently sentenced to different terms of forced labour. The authorities use highly undemocratic clause on libelling president and state officials and a means to suppress freedom of expression. The political parties are under constant pressure. They work under threat to be closed down. Social activists are fired, administrative fines are levied on them. Many activists faced criminal charges. People’s right to work is constantly violated.
Belarusian authorities refused to carry out investigation of kidnapped: Deputy Chairman of the 13th Supreme Council Viktar Hancar, businessman Anatol Krasouski, ex-Minister of Interior Jury Zacharanka and the journalist Dzmitry Zavadski. Ignoring numerous appeals of the international community Belarusian authorities have ousted Advisory and Monitoring Group of OSCE from Minsk.
Proposals to conduct a referendum on future of Belarus are heard both from Minsk and Moscow. While president Alaksandar Lukasenka is making attempts to use the referendum to extend his term of office Russian hard liners are discussing the possibility to threaten Belarus’ sovereignty. It is self-imposed isolation of A. Lukasenka that led to the situation when statehood of Belarus can be jeopardised.
The people of Central and Eastern Europe remember well their suffering under totalitarian regimes. We know that a communist dictatorship is no lesser evil than a nazi regime. Our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, were slaughtered, tortured, imprisoned and deportered by communists and nazis alike.
The Center-Right says: Never again. No attempt to establish a totalitarian regime of whatever color will be tolerated in Europe. In addition, we offer our unqualified support to the people of Belarus as they attempt to defeat the forces of totalitarianism and rejoin the family of democratic European nations.
We strongly support the democratic forces in Belarus in their fight for liberty and prosperity. The Belarusian people deserve freedom and democracy as much as any other people in Europe. Just as it was done for us, we stand by them in their attempts to reach democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law in the Republic of Belarus. We are partners in this struggle.
Taking into account all international agreements and commitments made by Belarus to accept and follow the OSCE and Council of Europe standards for a free and democratic society, pluralism, rule of law and human rights;
Considering that domestic and foreign policies carried out by Belarusan President Lukasenka have excluded Belarus from European family and world processes and turned the country into an outcast of the democratic world;
Stating once again full support for activities of opposition parties aimed at liberty, prosperity and independence of the Belarus;
Realising that the problem of democratisation in Belarus is directly linked with preserving its sovereignty;
Condemning harassment, prosecution, arrest and imprisonment of opposition members, continuous assaults on independent media and a threat to close down United Civil Party;
Expressing concern about severing links with OSCE;
Taking into account lack of cooperation and information exchange between Center Right of Europe and Belarus essential for political, structural, resource and intellectual support.
The Center Right
Confirms its support of the demands expressed in Declaration on Belarus passed by the 3d Center Right Conference held in Tallinn;
States that sovereignty of Belarus is an indisputable fact of European policy and no referenda on statehood and constitutional questions can be held;
Appeals to Belarusian authorities to start fair negotiations with the democratic opposition parties on vital matters of Belarusian domestic policies;
Urges the authorities to put an end to the political prosecution of opposition political activists and parties, independent mass media and civil society in general;
Appeals to Belarusian authorities to create the climate of political trust and to immediately release journalists Mr Mikola Markievic, Mr Paval Mazejka and Mr Viktar Ivaskievic;
Urges Belarusan authorities to stop criminal prosecution of the leader of United Civil Party Mr. Anatoly Lebedko and to abolish clauses of the Criminal Code that form the legal basis for prosecution of journalists for libeling president and state officials;
Urges Belarusian authorities to cooperate with Sub Committee of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Commission of the Council of Europe on investigation of missing politicians in Belarus and to restore relations with OSCE;
Demands from the authorities of Belarus not to pass a highly discriminatory bill “On Religion”;
Supports the idea of holding the International Conference on Belarus with participation of all interested parties, representatives of international community and organizations;
Proposes to establish Belarus Initiative program to enhance co-operation and information exchange between CEE and Belarus Center Right to promote freedom, social partnership and democratic development in Belarus.
September 29, 2002 Prague, Czech Republic
Chairman, National Popular Front
Chairman, United Civic Party
Chairman, Nasha Ukraina
International Secretary, Union of Right Forces
Dr. Marko Tarle
Member of Presidency , HSS
Dr. Radovan Fuchs
Vice President, Int. Secretary, Democratic Centre Party
Vice-President, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, FIDESZ
Member of Board, LNNK
Vice-Chairman, Homeland Union
Vice-President, Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc
President, National Liberal Party
Member of Board, SDKU
President, Social Democratic Party of Slovenia
Vice-President, MP, Nova Slovenia