21 January 2018, Sunday, 19:54

Marek Migalski proposes amendments to Paleckis's report

Member of the European Parliament Marek Migalski proposed 20 amendments to Justas Paleckis's report on situation in Belarus.

According to Marek Migalski, proposals by the Rapporteur didn't represent the stance of the European Union, the MEP's official website informs.

“The position of the European Parliament on Belarus must be decisive and consistent. We must support civil society, remind about political prisoners and ensure the safety of human rights activists. It's necessary to show Lukashenka that the EU doesn't agree with his policy,” Marek Migalski stressed.

The main amendments proposed by the MEP relate to the problem of mass arrests, politically motivated criminal prosecution of opposition members and a wave of repression against human rights activists and independent media.

Marek Migalski reminded about political prisoners, in particular about the case of Ales Bialiatski. Other his amendments relate to freedom of media working in or broadcasting to Belarus and support of the organisations focusing on democracy and human rights, including those having to work abroad.

The report was prepared by the EP Rapporteur on Belarus for the European Commission, the EU Council and the European External Action Service following Justas Paleckis's visit to Minsk on March 18-21. It provoked a mixed reaction in Belarus. Opposition members and human rights defenders criticised the phrasing about improvements in the human rights situation in the country in 2012. Paleckis, for his part, says he made this conclusion basing on information from Belarusian human rights activists. He later admitted that the phrasing “a discernible improvement” was poor and promised to fix it.

Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, a MEP from Poland, questioned Paleckis’s credentials. He said that the author of the scandalous report on Belarus went to Minsk on his own initiative or by invitation of the Belarusian authorities.

Justas Paleckis was mentioned in Lord Bell’s plan on improving the image of Lukashenka's dictatorship. The report contained the paragraph titled “Direct lobbying” about the work with certain EU’s officials and politicians.