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British Ambassador: EU is not satisfied with pardoning of political prisoners

British Ambassador: EU is not satisfied with pardoning of political prisoners

The Belarusian authorities must not pardon the persons convicted in the December 19 case, but rehabilitate them.

This was said by British Ambassador to Belarus Rosemary Thomas in an interview to Interfax-Zapad news agency.

Making career and working is impossible without rehabilitation, the Ambassador stressed.

Mrs Rosemary Thomas said commenting on Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s statement about a dialogue with the opposition with participation of the EU and Russia that an official invitation has not been made. The EU member states would like to hear at the talks about formation of a multiparty democracy in Belarus, the British diplomat says. If the EU comes to a conclusion that a sincere intention stands behind this proposal, the EU will want to partake, the ambassador is convinced. But the European Union can consider the question on participating in the round table talks only after a question of the release and full rehabilitation of all prisoners is solved, the ambassador underlines.

Mrs Thomas reminded that prospects for closer ties between Belarus and the EU looked optimistic two years ago, when she came in the country. But these opportunities were lost one by one.

The EU constant stance was that improvement of relations with Belarus must be based on slow but steady progress in human rights and political sphere. But we have been watching a throwback since February to June last year. Autumn was more optimistic, because the electoral campaign was rather liberal. The turning point was the events on December 19 and the aftermath, the ambassador says adding that the EU has not recovered from the deep shock and upset caused by these events.

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