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The recent increase in the number of desecrations of Polish graves in Belarus

Written declaration No. 763 | Doc. 15706 | 09 May 2023

Signatories:
Mr Markus WIECHEL, Sweden, EC/DA ; Ms Boriana ÅBERG, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Nickie AIKEN, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Bob De BRABANDERE, Belgium, EC/DA ; Ms Eva DECROIX, Czech Republic, EC/DA ; Mr Thibaut FRANÇOIS, France, EC/DA ; Mr Paul GALLES, Luxembourg, EPP/CD ; Ms Jo GIDEON, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Gustaf GÖTHBERG, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Gusty GRAAS, Luxembourg, ALDE ; Mr Martin GRAF, Austria, EC/DA ; Mr Ion GROZA, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Sally-Ann HART, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Ms Cécile HEMMEN, Luxembourg, SOC ; Mrs Pauline LATHAM, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Ian LIDDELL-GRAINGER, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Ms Josée LORSCHÉ, Luxembourg, SOC ; Mr Oleksandr MEREZHKO, Ukraine, EC/DA ; Ms Octavie MODERT, Luxembourg, EPP/CD ; Ms Jill MORTIMER, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Arkadiusz MULARCZYK, Poland, EC/DA ; Mrs Sheryll MURRAY, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Dmytro NATALUKHA, Ukraine, EC/DA ; Mr Mika NIIKKO, Finland, EC/DA ; Mr Joseph O'REILLY, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Mr José María SÁNCHEZ GARCÍA, Spain, EC/DA ; Mr Ričards ŠLESERS, Latvia, NR ; Ms Jessica STEGRUD, Sweden, EC/DA ; Ms Rita TAMAŠUNIENĖ, Lithuania, EC/DA ; Ms Beatrice TIMGREN, Sweden, EC/DA ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

We note with deep concern the recent increase in the number of wilful desecrations of graves in numerous Belarus cemeteries – raised in memory of Poles who died in the course of the Second World War.

This vandalism coincides in time with intensified anti-Polish campaigns launched in Belarus State media – presumably in reaction to Poland’s determined assistance to Ukraine in the latter’s heroic defence against Russian invasion forces. This would suggest at least the connivance of Belarus authorities as regards these despicable actions.

We further note that the destruction of the cultural heritage, including cemeteries, is strictly prohibited by international treaties, as well as in Belarusian law.

We, in conclusion, appeal to the Government of Belarus to put an urgent halt to the above-mentioned desecrations, and hope that the international community, in particular within the Council of Europa area, will join in supporting this demand.