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Freedom of public assembly to be guaranteed in Belarus

Resolution adopted by the EPP Political Assembly 3-4 February 2020

Freedom of public assembly to be guaranteed in Belarus

1.     Affirming the positive steps taken by the Belarusian authorities in connection with the facts mentioned in the EPP resolutions of 2017 and 2018,

2.     regretting that elections in Belarus, including the parliamentary elections 2019 neither free nor fair,

3.     expressing hope for the democratic reforms of the Electoral Code prior to the Presidential Elections 2020 to bring it in agreement with the recommendation of OSCE/ODIHR,

4.     reminding of the obligations that Belarus has approved by signing International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

5.     being troubled by the grave deterioration of the situation with the basic human rights as freedom of assembly, organisation, speech, information and mass media

The European People’s Party

1.     Condemns the ongoing pressure and the persecution of democratic activists because of their participation in peaceful protests in Minsk and other Belarusian cities in December 2019. Activists, as well as independent video bloggers (Dzmitry Kazlou), have been arrested and thrown into prison for 15 to 45 days over the past month. Dozens of peaceful protesters receive heavy fines, which far exceed their monthly income. Thus, the authorities put democratic activists on the brink of poverty. In particular, the leaders of the member parties of the EPP in Belarus – Belarusian Christian Democracy, United Civil Party, and the Movement For Freedom were fined. Volha Kavalkova, co-chairwoman of BCD, Mikalai Kazlou, chairman of the UCP, Yuri Hubarevich, chairman of MFF, received various financial fines. The co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian democracy, Pavel Seviarynets, was fined several times and was also sentenced to 45 days of arrest.

2.     Expresses solidarity with the statements of EU and CoE, which reaffirm strong opposition to death penalty after new sentences delivered in Belarus to Illia Kostseu and Stanislau Kostseu and urges the Government of Belarus to immediately withdraw all issued death sentences, and to work to abolish the death penalty,

3.     Condemns the violation of Internet freedom, freedom of speech and harassment of independent journalists in Belarus;

4.     Calls on the Belarusian authorities to comply with the norms of the declaration of human rights and to ensure that all citizens of Belarus can freely participate in peaceful protests.

5.     Welcomes the rapprochement of Belarus with the European Union, at the same time we draw attention to the fact that the implementation of the norms of the declaration of human rights is a prerequisite for all democratic countries.

6.     Urges the Belarusian authorities to stop the pressure and political persecution of activists and leaders of democratic parties.