Statement on the arrest of Mr Vincuk Viachorka and Mr Vyachaslau Siuchyk



- The Chairman -



by Mr Bodgan KLICH, Chairman of the Delegation for relations with Belarus on the arrest of Mr Vincuk Viachorka and Mr Vyachaslau Siuchyk


Strasbourg, 14 March 2007. On behalf of the delegation for relations with Belarus, I strongly condemn the arrests of the leader of the Belarusian Popular Front Mr Vincuk Viachorka and of an opposition activist Mr Vyachaslau Siuchyk yesterday evening in Minsk and demand for their immediate release.


I am dismayed that these troubling events in the eve of the celebration of the Belarusian Freedom Day on 25 March 2007 and further deteriorating situation of democracy in Belarus go contrary to the recent rhetoric of the Belarusian leadership and regrettably do not yet allow the possibility for improvement in the relations between the European Union and Belarus.


The release of all political prisoners is one of the key conditions for Belarus to renew its relationship with the European Union within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and it is therefore up to the government of Mr Lukashenka to take concrete steps in making a vital choice between finally embracing democracy or remaining the last dictatorship on this continent, between embarking on the road of cooperation with Europe or further descending into the self-isolation.






European Parliament