Paleckis: Situation with human rights in Belarus has considerably improved
In a publisized report of the special rapporteur of the European Parliament delegation on Belarus it is noted that Belarus had no free and fair elections since 1994. Paleckis recalls that the relations between the EU and Belarus started warming on the eve of the 2010 presidential election, but the brutal repression of the opposition and the civil society destroyed all positive signs. The report says that "for the gradual abolition of EU restrictive measures against the official Minsk" it is necessary to release and rehabilitate all political prisoners immediately.
However, the rapporteur notes that in 2012, there happened "a significant improvement in human rights and the «European dialogue on modernization» has had a positive impact on the development of civil society" in our country.
Justas Paleckis encourages the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Council and the European Commission to use the Lithuanian presidency over the EU and the "Eastern Partnership" summit in Vilnius to improve relations with Belarus. In particular, to restart political dialogue. The rapporteur proposes to revise the suspension of the EU sanctions against some important Belarusian officials and to expand contacts with them. Another Paleckis’ recommendation concerns preparation of a strategic "road map" - a temporary plan in priority areas of reform in Belarus, which will contain proposals for the enhanced political dialogue.
Other recommendations relate to the economic, energy and cross-border cooperation. Justas Paleckis proposes to step up support for the civil society, the independent media, human rights activists and trade unions, as well as unilaterally to consider lowering the cost of visas for Belarusian citizens, informs Charter-97.
Photo - Delfi