Vatslav Stankevich: Human Rights Situation in Belarus Deteriorates 15:39, 17/12/2002
On December 16 deputy of the Lithuanian Sojm, rapporteur for Belarus of the PACE Committee for legal affairs Vatslav Stankevich delivered his report on the situation with human rights in Belarus. “Regrettably, the human rights situation in Belarus keeps deteriorating,” – Stankevich told BelaPAN correspondent on the phone: “I reminded the Committee about the concrete cases of human rights violations, unjustified pressure, exerted on mass media – condemnation of journalists Markevich, Mozheiko and Ivashkevich. I also reiterated that literally a few days before they shut down for no clear reason the newspaper “Mestnoye Vremya”. I also tried to explain that ahead of the local elections in Belarus the regime pressures harshly the independent media”.
Stankevich illustrated his report with the citation of the most recent incident: at the time when the Committee for human rights assembled in Paris, editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Rabochy” Viktor Ivashkevich was sent from Minsk to Baranovichi for two years of social works. After the reporting, said the Lithuanian deputy, there took place an opinion exchange. The floor was given to the parliamentarians from all different states. “In principle, everyone agreed with my theses, proposals and recommendations to the Council of Europe concerning their policy towards Belarus. The Committee approved my findings and offers and will forward them to the CoE Bureau, where they will finally be passed or declined. So, the real outcome of our today’s hearings will be known in January 2003,” – concluded Stankevich.