12 November

EU Commissioner: Our offers remain in force


Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner has expressed concern over reports that Zmitser Dachkevich was fined by the Belarusian court for refusing to testify in a case against a fellow-member of an NGO, Mr Ivan Shyla.

Mr Dashkevich himself is being detained on political grounds for membership of an unregistered youth organization. This is his second condemnation and it utterly contradicts the principles and values laid down in the EU's message to Belarus which I released a year ago. I urge the Belarusian authorities to immediately release all political prisoners, including Mr Dashkevich and stop harassing members of civil society,” the Commissioner said.

Benita Ferrero-Waldner has emphasized the EU's offer to Belarus to engage into a full partnership once Belarus has taken convincing and irreversible steps towards democratization and respect for human rights, including the right of the Belarusian people to freely express their views and enjoy the freedom of assembly.