Statement by Mr Bogdan KLICH, MEP on behalf of the delegation for relations with Belarus on 9 June 2005

Strasbourg, 9 June 2005

by Mr Bodgan KLICH,
Member of the European Parliament
on behalf of the Delegation for relations with Belarus

The Delegation expresses dismay at the imprisonment of the Belarusian opposition activists Pavel Sevyarenets and Mikola Statkevich; the de-legalisation of Belarusian democratic opposition parties, civil society organisations and independent mass media; the expulsion of democratic-minded Belarusian students from schools and universities; as well as attacks on the rights of the Polish minority in Belarus. The Delegation states that all the recent actions of the regime of Mr Lukashenka continue to flout the principles of democracy and the rule of law, while ultimately convincing the Delegation of the impossibility of democratic dialogue with the regime in Minsk.

The Delegation stresses the urgent need for the Commission and Council to respond to the European Parliament resolution of 10 March 2005 and to support alternative and accessible sources of independent and unbiased information for the people of Belarus.

It calls in particular for the creation of a network of independent radio stations broadcasting to Belarus from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and possibly Ukraine. It underlines the particular urgency of support for such a network in advance of next year's presidential elections and the need for the Belarusian voters to receive the objective news that they are currently denied in their own country by their government.