Wednesday, 7 November 2012

US-based Belarusian Organization Calls on European Parliament To Expand "Blacklist" of Belarusian Businessmen and Bureaucrats

Belorussians in Exile

US-based association of Belorussians living outside of their home country, 'Belorussians in Exile', appealed to the European Parliament to strengthen sanctions against Lukashenko regime.

The appeal comes after the October parliamentary elections in Belarus, which international observers considered undemocratic. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) concluded: "In the 23 September parliamentary elections, many OSCE commitments including citizens' rights to associate, to stand as candidates, and to express themselves freely were not respected, despite some improvements to the electoral law."

'Belorussians' letter to the European parliament says: "We call on the Parliament to take the necessary steps to ensure that Belarus rejects dictatorial principles of government and respects the principles of democracy and human rights...

In order to change the political situation in Belarus, stop political repression and ensure a normal life for citizens of our country, we ask the European Parliament to:

1. Strengthen economic sanctions against major Belorussian companies, which provide a significant share of the Lukashenko regime's foreign currency.

2. Call on European companies that maintain commercial ties with Belorussian companies, whose earnings finance the regime, to break them until the European Union sees noticeable improvements in human rights in Belarus.

3. Include Belorussian bureaucrats and businesspeople who support the Lukashenko regime on the "blacklist" and prevent them from entering the European Union".

"There are over 100,000 Belarusians living in the US. We are concerned that United States and Europe tolerate Lukashenko's regime and don't act to stop Belarus from turning into a police state. We will work with the US and European governments and human rights organizations to ensure that this will not happen," the organization said in a statement.

Belorussians in Exile
Viktor Pavlov

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