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Bogdan Zdrojewski #4Bogdan Zdrojewski #6Bogdan Zdrojewski #5Bogdan Zdrojewski #2Bogdan Zdrojewski #1

The release of six political prisoners in Belarus

2015-08-24

Statement by Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski (EPP, PL), Chairman of the Delegation:

"I welcome with satisfaction the decision of President Lukashenko to release six political prisoners in Belarus - Mykalai Statkevich, Mykalai Dziadok, Ihar Alinevich, Jury Rubtsov, Euheny Vaskovich and Artyom Prakapenka. The European Union and the European Parliament through the Delegation for relations with Belarus have long insisted on the release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners in Belarus. Our last concrete efforts in this direction were deployed on the occasion of the mission of our Delegation to Minsk in June 2015. The release of political prisoners is an important and encouraging step for future relations between the EU and Belarus, but also for the future role Belarus might play in the Eastern Partnership.

At the same time, the European Parliament remains strongly committed to further defend human rights in Belarus, including freedom of speech and media. A great deal still needs to be done in this respect. Today, an important issue remains the compliance with international electoral standards during the Presidential elections scheduled for this autumn. The release of political prisoners is in this respect of crucial importance".

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