Meeting with family members and friends of jailed Belarusian political activists
Commissioner Štefan Füle met with family members and friends of jailed Belarusian political activists. Those attending were Irina Bogdanova, sister of former Belarusian Presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, and Director of human rights group Free Belarus Now, and Natalia Koliada, Director of the Belarus Free Theatre. The discussion focused on the current political situation in Belarus, particularly the deepening repression of civil society and political opponents by the Lukashenko regime. Commissioner Füle emphasised EU's grave concern about the ongoing widespread intimidation and harassment of the Belarusian civil society and political opposition and reiterated his full support for all those fighting for democracy, rights and freedoms in Belarus. The Commissioner reiterated the EU's call for the immediate and unconditional release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners.
He recalled the EU's deep concern at reports of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in Belarussian prisons and the EU's call upon the authorities to respect international commitments endorsed by Belarus, notably the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.