Svetlana Gannushkina: "Growth of number of people leaving Belarus is directly related to deterioration of political and economical conditions" 13:06, 02/12/2004
On December 1 at the meeting with the members of American section of “Amnesty International” in Washington a well-known Moscow human rights activist and fighter for the rights of refugees Svetlana Gannushkina told that the growing number of people leaving Belarus forever is in direct relation with deterioration of political and economical situation in the country. There are not so many cases when the Belarusians turn to the organization on help to refugees, and displaced persons, “Civic Assistance”. “Probably, it is because political opponents of the Belarusian regime choose more safe places than Russia as an asylum. More often we deal with appeals of opposition activists from Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. It is sad to realize that Russian authorities contribute to their persecution,” underlines Ms Gannushkina.
According to the human rights activist, Belarus is not following in full measure its commitments connected with ratification by Belarus of the UN convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951).
“At one of the international conferences with participants from Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Russia to my question about problems of Russian refugees, a Belarusian official answered the following: “We are really great friends with Russia. And if somebody escaped from Russia, most probably they are bad people who had done something wrong. We do not consider it right to grant asylum to them”.