Updated at 14:29,29-07-2020

EU official meets with Belarusian human rights defenders

By Alyaksey Alyaksandraw, BelaPAN

Stavros Lambrinidis, the European Union’s special representative for human rights, met with representatives of five Belarusian human rights organizations in Minsk on Wednesday.

According to human rights website www.spring96.org, the meeting was attended by Aleh Hulak, chairman of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee; Valyantsin Stefanovich, deputy chairman of the Vyasna Human Rights Center; Volha Smalyanka, head of the Minsk-based Center for Legal Transformation, also known as Lawtrend; Natallya Mankowskaya, leader of a gay rights organization called Identychnasts; and Tatsyana Aheyeva, deputy head of the Belarusian Documentation Center.

The meeting also featured Andrea Wiktorin, head of the EU’s Delegation to Belarus. Speaking after the meeting, the human rights defenders said that participants had managed to discuss not only the current human rights situation in Belarus but also a much broader range of issues.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr. Lambrinidis, who arrived in Minsk the previous day for a four-day visit, met with Alyaksandr Lukashenka, Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey, and Uladzimir Andreychanka, chairman of the House of Representatives.

On Thursday, Mr. Lambrinidis is to meet with former political prisoner Mikalay Statkevich, who ran in the 2010 presidential election, and with representatives of civil society.