The victims of the terrorist attack in Minsk subway on April 12 honored at the beginning of the morning session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and in Luxembourg at the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union. However, the Belarusian theme is not limited to just that.
At a closed meeting of the political press of the PACE Committee held hearings on the situation in Belarus. In its report, PACE rapporteur on this subject Sinikka Hurskainen (Finland) has expressed concern about the politically motivated criminal cases, torture of prisoners, procedural violations during the investigation and court proceedings, as well as the execution of the death penalty in Belarus. In this regard, the speaker said, PACE contacts with the Belarusian authorities on a high level must remain frozen until. At the same time, said Mrs. Hurskainen, the Assembly should continue the dialogue with the democratic forces of Belarus. Human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, Speaking at the hearing:
"The fact that we say, and what support MPs, is clear: until political prisoners are released, at no contacts with the Belarusian authorities will not."
At the meeting of the political committee was attended by about a hundred participants: a lot of parliamentarians and representatives of the EU and the OSCE.
"Our first topic concerned the situation of political prisoners and the general socio-political situation in the country. The deputies asked first of all, that in this situation, the Council of Europe can do to affect the situation of human rights in Belarus. "
Human rights defenders Ales Bialiatski, Elena Tonkacheva and their Russian counterpart Andrei Yurov also met with the committee set up PACE events of December 19 in Belarus. It is composed of parliamentarians of different factions, and is headed by the representative of the Czech Republic Tomas Yirsa.
Bialiatski"We think this is a very interesting move, because the goal of this committee — to investigate what really happened on December 19 and after in Minsk. The task is quite important, because it does not have an international framework that in principle dealt with this issue. We had a meeting. We have expressed their thoughts on the work of this committee, and they shared their doubts and exposure steps that they are going to do. Precautions were related to performance, as they suspect that the Belarusian authorities will not be hard to work with this committee. "
Did the attack once in the Minsk metro to the discussion? According Bialiatski, MPs are wondering how this event may affect the situation in Belarus:
"Drawing parallels with 2008, we express concerns that the government can use this situation to the next round of escalation. The fight against terrorism can grow into a struggle with the civil society and political opponents. Our conviction met the full understanding of the deputies. "
The situation in Belarus will be discussed at the session of the Council of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. It will be reviewed and the question of economic sanctions against the official Minsk, but no concrete decisions are expected today. With regard to the sanctions of the EU there is no consensus.