23 July 2018, Monday, 16:32
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Martin Uggla: There Must Be Equivalent Of Magnitsky Act Against Those Who Block Charter

MARTIN UGGLA

Lukashenka’s regime must take the consequences of its actions.

About this the Head of the Swedish human rights organization Östgruppen Martin Uggla said that to Charter97.org, commenting on this week's Days of Belarus in Sweden.

The situation with the blocking the Charter 97 website in Belarus of was discussed with the participation of Natallia Radzina, the website’s editor-in-chief of, political advisor to the Swedish Foreign Minister Johannes Danielsson and Swedish parliamentarian and former head of the OSCE working group for Belarus Christian Holm at a conference in Stockholm and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, where Natallia Radzina was invited as well.

– I believe that the Days of Belarus in Sweden were a success. The main day in the program, in my opinion, was the conference with the participation of journalists, Swedish officials and politicians.

Various topics related to human rights in Belarus were touched upon, including the blocking of independent websites. In this connection, special attention was paid to restricting access to Charter 97 because, due to the popularity and significance of the resource, it became not just a blocking of a separate site, but a massive attack on freedom of speech in Belarus.

The conference was attended by employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden. In my opinion, they know the problem of freedom of speech in Belarus quite well. But I would like to see not only understanding and regret, but a more active reaction and clear actions.

– And what exactly should this reaction be?

– Specific demands must be put forward to the authorities of Belarus. The Government of Sweden must openly and publicly demand the unblocking of the Charter 97 website. The demands to the Belarusian regime should be put forward directly and publicly, so that they can be heard by everyone and relaunched by international media.

Lukashenka’s regime must feel the pressure and realize that the violation of freedom of speech will lead to direct consequences.

– What consequences are you talking about?

– Sanctions aimed personally against those people who violate human rights in Belarus. Several states have adopted the Magnitsky act. I think that something like this, an equivalent of the Magnitsky act, should be adopted against those people in Belarus who violate human rights and are integral to blocking Charter-97.

NATALLIA RADZINA AND MARTIN UGGLA

We remind that on January 24, Lukashenka's regime blocked the independent information resource Charter97.org. The blocking was confirmed by the first deputy minister of information Ihar Lutski. The Ministry of Information is headed by Aliaksandr Karliukevich.