14 June 2024, Friday, 18:01
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German Foreign Ministry chief was answered: “No liberalization is taking place in Belarus”

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All the statements of Belarusian authorities that a so-called “liberalization” has started in the country are nothing but an empty statement.

Yesterday at the opening of the XI Minsk Forum a word of salutation of Vice Chancellor, Foreign Minister of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier was read. It was stated in the word of salutation that “there are no political prisoners in Belarus now”, that is why “the European Union has adopted a decision to renew political contacts with Belarus”. As said by the minister, he supported that decision “despite of the fact that it was controversial to a certain degree”. In the end Mr Steinmeier stated: “We all hope that the leadership of Belarus will resolutely continue the way in the direction of democracy and respect of human rights”.

The statement of the German minister that there are no political prisoners in Belarus caused indignant reaction of those present. A young activist Palina Dyakava who with other young activists yesterday came to the building of Minsk educational centre where the Forum is held, asked permission to speak.

“I haven’t been invited beforehand today. I represent a group of oppositional youth who picketed this building near the entrance. We were standing with Alyaksandr Barazenka’s portraits. This young man was detained and placed to a remand prison for a peaceful rally. At the moment he stays in the remand prison No. 1 in Minsk. Beside Alyaksandr Barazenka there are at least 10 persons in Belarus who can be called political prisoners.

They are Alyaksei Bondar, Artsyom Dubski, Mikhail Kryvau, Mikhail Pashkevich, Alyaksandr Straltsou, Alyaksandr Charnyshou, Tatsyana Tsishkevich, Mikhail Subach and Paval Vinahradau. The guys have been condemn for the same protest rally of market vendors and sentenced to 2 years of restriction of freedom.

I want to say by that that there ARE political prisoners in Belarus! No liberalization is taking place in the country. In order to consider it started, on behalf of young people I call upon release of Alyaksandr Barazenka and FULL vindication of all other oppositionists,” the activist said.

Requests to the Belarusian authorities to investigate cases of the abducted leaders of the opposition abducted and killed in 1999-2000 and to stop the process of eradication of freedom of expression in the country have been also made at the forum.

Chairman of the Minsk Forum Rainer Lindner with participants of rally of solidarity with political prisoners

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