The Commissioner criticizes Minsk for persecuting opposition

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hamarberg criticized the Belarusian authorities for the persecution of the opposition, and said that the country does not meet the requirements for entry into the European organization.

"Belarus has continued repression of opposition politicians, civil society groups, human rights activists and the media. Given that the night after the elections of December 19, he wasand arrested at least 700 protesters, and now some of them have been prosecuted, they have been brought against unreasonable accusations and extremely harsh sentences handed down, "- said in a statement T. Hamarberga, which distributed the Committee on International Control over the observance of human rights in Belarus.

The Ombudsman of the Council of Europe stressed that "Belarus is not a member of the Council of Europe and now does not meet the requirements for joining the organization."

"One consequence of this is that the citizens of Belarus can not rely on mechanisms and programs in support of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. All the more so it is important not to forget about the fate of the Belarusian people and have on our part constructive assistance to civil society of this European country, "- said T. Hamarberg.

According to him, politicized judicial procedures in the Dec. 19 followed by a campaign of harassment of human rights defenders on the part of officials.

"Human rights activists have accused that they are traitors and" fifth column, "- said in a statement. — These charges are particularly senseless and menacing after a terrorist attack in the Minsk metro on April 11 — as if she could be a connection between this terrible crime and protection Human Rights. One of the purposes of such statements was Ales Bialiatski — Head of the Human Rights Centre "Viasna".

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