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Belarus: Stop Violence and engage in dialogue, says Cheryl Gillan

The Chairperson of PACE Political Affairs Committee, Dame Cheryl Gillan (United Kingdom, EC/DA) today made the following statement on the situation in Belarus:

"I am concerned by the scenes of violence on the streets of Belarus during the protests that followed last Sunday’s Presidential Elections and reports of mass detention and ill-treatment of people, including journalists.

Violence is not a way forward in the democratic political process and it should be stopped on all sides of the political spectrum. I refer in this context to the call by Rik Daems, our PACE President, for utmost restraint and for ensuring unhindered exercise of fundamental human rights and freedoms. I hope that Belarusian authorities will hear the voice of people asking for genuine change and engage in an inclusive dialogue with society.

The Council of Europe, with its rich experience of working towards democratic transformations, may provide valuable assistance to help create part of that dialogue to solve the current crisis and open a path for any reforms. To this end the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy has placed this matter on its agenda for discussion at its next meeting on 17-18 September 2020".