20 January 2018, Saturday, 22:02

MEPs propose 292 amendments to Paleckis's report


MEPs have proposed almost 300 amendments to a 7-page report.

The amendments are listed in the document of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament.

The deadline for proposing amendments to Justas Paleckis's report expired on June 12. Members of the European Parliament proposed 292 amendments.

The most important of them refer to the problem of mass arrests, politically motivated criminal cases against opposition members and a wave of repression against human rights activists and independent media.

MEPs remind about jailed political prisoners. A number of amendments refer to the freedom of the media working in or broadcasting to Belarus and support of democratic and human rights organisations, including those having to work abroad.

The amendments were proposed by Werner Schulz, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Marek Migalski, Paweł Kowal, Filip Kaczmarek, Jacek Protasiewicz, Peter Šťastný, Libor Rouček, Eduard Kukan and others. The author of the report also made some proposals.

The report was prepared for the European Commission, the EU Council and the European External Action Service following Justas Paleckis's visit to Minsk on March 18-21. The document 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.