Belarus

14 Dec: Belarus: Statement by the Spokesperson on the sentencing of Siarhei Tsikhanouski and five other prominent political prisoners

(Source: EEAS)

Today in Homiel, six prominent political prisoners received unfounded and harsh sentences ranging between 14 and 18 years on dubious charges of “preparation of mass disorder” and “incitement to hatred” in a trial behind closed doors. Siarhei Tsikhanouski, a blogger and pro-democracy activist, who was unfairly imprisoned and prevented from standing in the 2020 Presidential election campaign, was sentenced to 18 years of prison. Mr Tsikhanouski was imprisoned on May 29, 2020 together with members of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s nomination group Artsiom Sakau, and social media manager Dmitry Popov. Both of them were today sentenced to 16 years in …

07 Oct: Belarus: consider taking the Lukashenka regime to international court, MEPs ask

(Source: European Parliament)

Solidarity with Lithuania, Poland and Latvia over state-sponsored irregular migration from BelarusEU support needed to assist migrants stuck at the EU-Belarusian bordersAdditional sanctions on key Belarusian sectors and individuals

Parliament expresses strong solidarity with EU countries affected by Belarusian hybrid attacks, while calling for the Lukashenka regime to be brought to court.

In a resolution adopted on Thursday, Parliament expresses strong solidarity with Lithuania, Poland and Latvia, as well as other EU countries recently targeted by the Belarusian regime’s attempts to direct a substantial number of migrants and refugees towards the EU’s external borders – with hundreds …

06 Oct: Belarus: Speech on behalf of High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell at the EP Plenary

(Source: EEAS)

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Thank you Mr President, dear Members of the European Parliament,

On behalf of the High Representative/Vice-President Borrell and myself, let me thank this Parliament for your relentless efforts to support the people of Belarus and for your support of our work. The European Union remains united in the face of the brutal repression and the continuing provocations by the Lukashenko regime and in support of the Belarusian people. 

Last time Belarus was addressed in this European Parliament plenary was on the 8th of June, after the Lukashenko regime forced a Ryanair flight between two European Union capitals to land in …

07 Sep: Belarus: Statement by the Spokesperson on sentencing Marya Kaliesnikava and Maksim Znak

(Source: EEAS)

Today in Minsk political prisoners Marya Kaliesnikava and Maksim Znak were sentenced to 11 and 10 years in prison respectively. In August 2020, Marya Kaliesnikava, together with Ms Tsikhanouskaya and Ms Tsepkalo, became a symbol of the movement for democratic Belarus. In a trial behind closed doors, together with a prominent lawyer, Mr Znak, she was tried on unfounded charges of “conspiring to seize state power in an unconstitutional way”, “calling for actions aimed at damaging the national security of Belarus through the use of media and the Internet” and “establishing and leading and an extremist group”.

The …

30 Aug: Belarus: Statement by the Spokesperson on the repressions against journalists and media

(Source: EEAS)

On 27 August, the Belarusian regime ordered the closure of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, the largest independent journalist organisation in the country.

This closure is part of the systematic and continued repression of all independent voices in the country. There are twenty-seven media workers among the 649 Belarusians who have been recognised as political prisoners. In May, the largest independent media platform tut.by was silenced, and criminal cases against its management and journalists were opened. In July, the relentless crackdown on non-governmental organisations and human rights defenders continued, including raids on private houses, and many citizens were arrested, …

31 Jul: Belarus: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the instrumentalisation of migrants and refugees by the regime

(Source: Council of the EU)

The instrumentalisation of migrants and refugees is utterly unacceptable. Using human beings in need to advance political goals violates fundamental European values and principles. Accordingly, the EU and its member states condemn the instrumentalisation of migrants and refugees by the Belarusian regime.

The EU and its member states will address the ongoing surge in irregular crossings into the EU from Belarus to preserve the integrity of its external border. In line with its gradual approach, the EU will consider the possibility of restrictive measures targeted at migrants’ smugglers abusing human rights or those otherwise involved …

15 Jul: Belarus: Statement by the High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell on the crackdown against civil society

(Source: EEAS)

On Wednesday, the Belarusian regime carried out a further wide-scale attack on independent voices in the country. The raids on private houses and offices targeted a long list of human rights, educational and political groups and organisations, charities and think-tanks. Human rights defenders and other activists have been arrested.

This new wave of repression is yet another proof that the Lukashenko regime is waging a systematic and well-orchestrated campaign with the ultimate aim to silence all remaining dissident voices and suppress civic space in Belarus. By cracking down on its own society, the Lukashenko regime has further deepened …

14 Jul: Fragility and tensions in EU’s Eastern Partnership

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team 

As part of the European Union’s Global Strategy and European Neighbourhood Policy, the EU has a special relationship with its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova  and Ukraine. This relationship is known as the Eastern Partnership (EaP). The objective of the initiative is to deliver tangible results for citizens across the region. However, since its launch in 2009, the actual impact of the Eastern Partnership has been constantly questioned. 

In a move which highlights the fragility and tensions of the relationships, Belarus has recently suspended its participation in the …

07 Jul: Belarus: Statement by the Spokesperson on limiting the diplomatic presence of Lithuania

(Source: EEAS)

On Tuesday, Belarusian authorities ordered Head of Mission at the Embassy of Lithuania in Minsk and the Consul General in Hrodna to leave the country by 11 July, drastically limiting Vilnius’ diplomatic presence in the country.

With this, the Lukashenko regime is closing further diplomatic channels of communication. By also reducing the consular staff of EU member states’ diplomatic missions, the regime limits the opportunities for the Belarusians to travel to the EU. Already last October, at the request of the regime, the Lithuanian and Polish Ambassadors left the country, and in May this year the entire staff …

06 Jul: Belarus: Statement by the Spokesperson on sentencing Viktar Babaryka and other political trials

(Source: EEAS)

Viktar Babaryka was sentenced to 14 years in prison today. He had been held in detention since 18 June 2020, for the sole reason to have tried to exercise his political right to stand as a candidate in the presidential elections in August 2020.

This sentence is one of at least 125 unfair and arbitrary recent verdicts by Belarusian courts in politically motivated trials, often held behind closed doors and without due process of law.

Today, Belarus has over 530 political prisoners, hundreds of documented instances of torture, and continued repression against all segments of society to silence …