Updated at 11:59,21-05-2018

UDF - It is Prematurely to Remit Sanctions

news portal www.UDF.BY

From leaders of democratic opposition to ministers of foreign affairs of EU member states
On the visa sanctions towards Belarusian officials

Taking into consideration that October this year the European Union resume the consideration on visa sanctions for Belarusian officials;

Noting that the current decision will be considered before presidential campaign in Belarus;

Stating that all international right defending organisations report about the worsening of situation with the human rights and freedom of speech in Belarus and the Parliament Assembly of Council of Europe decided do not realize any contacts with the high level authorities in Belarus,
We leaders of democratic parties and associations

Declare about full absence of progress on all five criteria defined by the European Union in the framework of the dialog with Belarus in particularly:

1. The political prisoners Nikolai Avtuhovich, Andrey Bondarenko, Vladimir Osipenko are imprisoned at the present time.

2. The situation with Mass Media became significant complicated. In particularly, the total number of independent socio-political editions has reduced half within five years. 19 newspapers were pressed out from the stated monopoly distribution system. 20 journalists got written warnings from procurator's office for their professional activities. Normative acts, which introduce censure on Internet, were passed.

3. Electoral legislation still gives opportunities for total falsification of voting results. Amendments to the Electoral Code do not improve the situation or create additional preferences for candidates from current authority.

4. The conditions for activities of political parties and NGOs became significant worse. Still the latent prohibition is valid on registration of new parties (Belarusian Christian Democracy, Labour Party, Party of Liberty and Progress, Women Party "Nadzeya") and regional structures already registered oppositional parties. The pressure on the independent trade unions exists as before.

5. To conduct meetings, demonstrations and pickets is still under ban. In particularly all attempts to get permission on conducting street pickets, demonstrations in different regions made by different political organisations were ineffective. Not only state but also private institutions, including institutions with foreign assets, refuse in renting rooms under the pressure of the Special Forces.

Based on all above mentioned and taking in consideration the ultra-high importance of future presidential campaign we propose to the heads of foreign-policy departments of the European Union member countries to postpone the consideration on visa sanctions till the end of the presidential campaign in accordance with its conformance to the standards of OSCE as well as to the progress on all five criteria defined by European Union in the framework of the dialog with Belarus.

Their signatures to the appeal affixed chairmen of the United Civil Party Anatoly Lebedko, the Party "Fair World" Sergey Kalyakin, the Belarusian Social-Democratic Party (Hramada) Anatoly Levkovich, Belarusian women party "Nadzeya" Elena Eskova and the chairman of organizing committee on establishment of Labour Party Alexander Buhvostov.

There were also proposed to the leaders of the Party of Belarusian Popular Front Aleksey Yanukevich, movement "For Freedom" Alexander Milinkevich, co-chairman of BCD Vitaly Rymashevsky, chairman of organizing committee on establishment of Party the Belarusian Social-Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada) Nikolay Statkevich to sign the document.