22 November 2017, Wednesday, 10:08

Statkevich And Niakliayeu Urged EU Not To Invite Lukashenka To Brussels

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The BNC leaders appealed to the heads of the EU countries.

Leaders of the Belarusian National Congress Mikalai Statkevich and Uladzimir Niakliayeu signed an appeal to the leaders of the European Union, the deputies of the European Parliament and the heads of the countries belonging to the EU.

The Charter97.org website publishes the politicians’ appeal:

"To the heads of the European Union countries,

to European Council President Donald Tusk,

to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federico Mogerini,

to European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Johannes Khan,

to the European Parliament deputies

The invitation of Alexander Lukashenko to Brussels for the Eastern Partnership summit is not just a step in the current EU-Belarus dialogue. This is the legitimization of Lukashenka himself, the legalization of his policy and his regime, which has turned to repression again.

There are political prisoners in Belarus again. The people who are imprisoned for their civil position, for their political beliefs. In addition to the usual arrests and fines, new methods of pressure are being invented: the seizure of property, the demolition or arrest of housing, repression against relatives. Kidnapping, beating and torturing of arrested activists, deliberately placing them together with people with dangerous infectious diseases, refusing prisoners medical assistance are practiced.

You might, of course, close your eyes to this. But if not to close, then the invitation of the police state head to democratic Europe is the encouragement of his policy of repression.

We are not against dialogue with the Belarusian regime. We understand that there mustn’t be any concessions to the regime on the part of the EU. But there must be conditions, which the regime is to meet for the continuation of the dialogue. They are as follows: the democratization of the legislation on elections, the registration of parties and public organizations, media, mass meetings of citizens, as well as the release of the political prisoners, the cessation of politically motivated criminal cases and the rehabilitation of all previously convicted in such cases.

The dialogue has been lasting for more than 2 years, but the abovementioned does not exist. Even at the summit in Brussels, Lukashenka was invited without any preconditions.

When democratically elected leaders sit down as equals at the same table with a dictator, who has made a crummy farce out of the elections, they insult their voters. When leaders of esteemed countries conduct equal negotiations with a "president," who has voluntarily turned his country into a branch of another state, they belittle themselves to his level. Who shakes hands, stained with the blood of our abducted and murdered comrades, demonstrates that he considers their murders to be acceptable.

We urge you to solidarity with our struggle for a democratic independent Belarus. The Belarusian people have the right to freedom.

Uladzimir Niakliayeu,

Mikalai Statkevich,

members of the Rada of the Belarusian National Congress,

former prisoners of conscience, former candidates for the presidency of the Republic of Belarus."