Situation in Belarus: recent developments
- Parliamentary Assembly
- Assembly debate on 29 April 2010
(16th Sitting) (see Doc.
12223, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur:
Mrs Hurskainen; and Doc.
12224, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and
Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Pourgourides). Text
adopted by the Assembly on 29 April 2010 (17th Sitting).
The Parliamentary Assembly recalls
its Resolution 1671 (2009)
the situation in Belarus in which, responding to some improvements
in the situation in Belarus and with a view to encouraging further
progress, it sets out a new course of engagement and openness in
its relations with the authorities of Belarus, while continuing
to support the strengthening of Belarusian non-governmental organisations
(NGOs) and civil society.
2. It also recalls its recommendation to ask the Bureau to lift
the suspension of special guest status for the Parliament of Belarus
provided that a moratorium on the execution of the death penalty
was decreed, and reiterates its conviction that “dialogue can be
sustained only through Belarus’ continuous progress towards Council
of Europe standards”.
3. With these considerations in mind, the Assembly regrets that
recent developments in Belarus show lack of progress towards Council
of Europe standards and lack of political will on the part of the
authorities of Belarus to embrace Council of Europe values and to
make progress towards Council of Europe standards.
In particular, the Assembly:
4.1 condemns the executions of Andrei Zhuk and Vasily Yuzepchuk,
which were carried out, in March 2010, in conditions of total secrecy
and at a time when the United Nations Human Rights Committee had
requested a stay in the executions pending its examination of their
4.2 expresses concern at the situation of the Polish minority
in Belarus, in particular as regards the repeated harassment of
members of the Union of the Poles and the infringement of their
rights of association and assembly;
4.3 regrets that the authorities of Belarus did not invite
any international observer to monitor the April 2010 local elections;
4.4 although welcoming the renewal for an additional year
of the agreement on the Council of Europe Infopoint located in the
State University of Minsk, regrets that, despite continuous efforts,
the Belarusian authorities have not yet authorised the establishment
of the Council of Europe East European School of Political Studies
5. The Assembly remains ready to engage in a progressive dialogue
with the authorities of Belarus in response to positive developments.
It underscores, however, that there cannot be progress on dialogue
without progress towards Council of Europe standards and a clear
political commitment by the Belarusian authorities to embrace Council
of Europe values, followed up by consistent actions.
6. In the light of recent events, the Assembly, therefore, decides
to put on hold its activities involving high-level contacts between
the Assembly and the parliament and/or governmental authorities
7. The Assembly will continue to follow closely developments