Former political prisoner Uladzimir Kobets speaks about the scandalous remark of the Israeli ambassador to Belarus.
Joseph Shagal said in an interview with Israeli RTVi that the Belarusian political prisoners were criminals from Israel's point of view and compared them with Palestinian extremists.
“Officially, there are four persons who are considered to be political prisoners. Four persons are in prison. Lukashenka offers them to apply for clemency, as in the case of Khodorkovsky. Apply for clemency and you will be freed. But they don't want. They prefer to remain heroes in prison,” Joseph Shagal said.
The ambassador also commented on the Western sanctions against official Minsk. It's not the first time when Joseph Shagal has made scandalous remarks. But this time he didn't just share his personal impressions, but represented the position of his country, Belsat TV reports.
Uladzimir Kobets, a former political prisoner and a coordinator of the civil campaign European Belarus, thinks Joseph Shagal took liberties as a diplomat representing a democratic country.
“What we've heard from ambassador Shagal is an unprecedentedly cynical statement. As a representative of the civil campaign European Belarus, I only can express a position of our organisation. We think Israel should recall this person, recall diplomat Shagal from Belarus,” the former political prisoner said.
Maryna Adamovuch, the wife of political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich, is confident ambassador Shagal exceeded his power.
“Mr Shagal was introduced as an official representative of the state, as the ambassador of the State of Israel to Belarus. He supposedly represented the official point of view of his country. This is the only thing that attracts my attention. I'd like to figure it out and receive an official reply if his words comply with the state's position. If it's true, even if we just assume it, it's strange that Israel continues to call itself a democratic country. I think that Mr Shagal exceeded his power to a certain extent. I hope so,” Maryna Adamovich said.