16 December 2018, Sunday, 14:44
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MEPs Demand To Unblock Charter’97 Website In Belarus Immediately

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Editor-in-Chief of the website Charter97.org held a series of meetings in the European Parliament.

Within the four days, on June 4-7, Editor-in-Chief of the website Charter’97 Natallia Radzina had a number of bilateral meetings with the members of the European Parliament. The parties discussed continued blocking of Charter97.org website; new amendments to the law on the media, reinforcing censorship in the internet; persecution of journalists and video-bloggers; deteriorating situation with the freedom of speech and the growing threat from the Russian propaganda, at the meetings.

Natallia Radzina met with Head of the Committee for Security and Defense of the European Parliament Anna Fotyga (Poland), Deputy Head of the Committee for Security and Defense Clare Moody (UK), Deputy Head of the Committee for Human Rights Christian Preda (Romania), Head of the Delegation in the Euronest Rebecca Harms (Germany), MEPs Elmar Brok (Germany), Michael Gahler (Germany), Kosma Złotowski (Poland), Indrek Tarand (Estonia), Petras Auštrevčius (Lithuania), Julie Ward (UK), Head of the Eastern Partnership in the European External Action Service Dirk Schuebel, as well as representatives of think tanks, foundations and journalists.

In addition, Natallia Radina took part in the conference “Belarus-2018: the Voices of the Civil Society”, organized by the European People's Party faction in the European Parliament.

“The members of the European Parliament intend to pursue the implementation of the recently adopted resolution on Belarus, which noted the deterioration of the situation with human rights and freedom of speech in Belarus, demanded that the website Charter97.org should be immediately unblocked, and stated the need to make the relations between the EU and Belarus dependent on whether the Lukashenka regime ensures human rights are upheld in the country.”

The MEPs remain very critical about the policy of the European Commissioners with regard to Belarus. It’s important to note here that EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini launches the campaign “We are Changing Our Lives for Better Together” with the Lukashenka regime, while European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn is to pay a visit to Minsk on June 21, together with the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel.

The voyages of European commissioners to Belarus cause confusion of the MEPs. Many expressed indignation at the fact that two European high-ranking officials will arrive with an official visit to Belarus at the time when the blocking of Charter’97 continues in the country, and repressions against journalists intensify.

“The MEPs intend to get the European Commissioners to raise issues at the meetings with officials and called upon the authorities of Belarus to immediately unblock Chater97.org and stop the attack on human rights and freedom of speech. As Anna Fotyga, the Head of the Committee for Security and Defense, said, this is not the time for critical interaction with the Belarusian authorities, it's time to put pressure on the regime,” - Natallia Radzina said.