EP Statement by Mr Bogdan KLICH, Chairman of the delegation, on the arrests of leaders of the Opposition on 27 April 2006

Brussels, 27 April 2006

by Mr Bodgan KLICH (EPP-ED, Poland),
Member of the European Parliament
on the arrests of Alaksandr Milinkevich, Vincuk Viacorka, Siarhej Kaliakin, Anatol
Liabedzka, and other leaders of the Belarusian Opposition

The delegation of the European Parliament for Relations with Belarus strongly condemns the arrests of Mr. Milinkevich, Mr. Viacorka, Mr. Liabedzka, Mr. Kaliakin, and all other members of the opposition, following the peaceful demonstration in Minsk to mark the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

"We demand the immediate release of all those arrested and detained. This action by the authorities of Belarus is just another example that Belarus is indeed the last dictatorial regime in Europe, which further isolates itself from the outside world, - remarked Mr Klich. - The government of Belarus should be held entirely responsible for these actions against the civil society and the leaders of opposition and should therefore face strong international response."

Talking in the name of the delegation, Mr. Klich appealed to the Council and the Commission to strongly react politically and to take the necessary measures in response to the actions of the Belarusian regime.

The European Parliament will continue to monitor the situation and will continue to work closely with its partners in the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the Council of Europe, and the OSCE to return to the Belarusian people their fundamental rights.