Local EU Statement on some repressive draft laws (19/10/2011)
The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Minsk.
The EU Delegation has taken note with concern of the ongoing consideration of some legislative acts that would severely limit the freedoms and rights of Belarusian citizens and represent a step backwards as regards Belarus’ respect for human rights and the rule of law.
The EU Delegation is concerned that the draft Law amending the “Law on Social Organisations” and other laws governing political activities would place further strain on civil society and political opposition, which already operate under difficult circumstances and are subjected to restrictive registration requirements.
The draft legislation on “Mass events” would still further restrict the rights, as well as freedom of expression and assembly, of the citizens of Belarus. The EU Delegation is also concerned about the ongoing discussion of a draft law on State Security establishments which threatens basic freedoms and would considerably widen the discretionary powers of the KGB, with no corresponding weight given to the proportionate use of force.
The EU Delegation calls on Belarus to not to pass these draft laws.
The EU Delegation calls on Belarus to work toward ensuring the respect of its citizens’ freedoms of expression, association and assembly in line with international standards and international obligations of Belarus, including by facilitating the activities of civil society organisations and political parties in the country.