Authoritarian Belorus must move quickly

15 April 2008

Authoritarian Belorus must move quickly

The authoritarian regime in Belorus must move quickly if it wants to end its isolation from Europe, said SP Senator Tiny Kox in today's debate in Strasbourg at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Belorus is currently the only country excluded from participation in the Council of Europe.


Rapporteur Christos Pourgourides of Cyprus said that he was full agreement with this view and pleased with the call on Belorus to change. If the country was "prepared to take five steps in our direction", he said, "we would take ten." But yes, Belorus must make the first move.

PACE voted overwhelmingly to back this line.

Belorus is responsible for its own isolation and is therefore in the best position to do something about it, Senator Kox argued, giving concrete examples of what must be done: a moratorium on the death penalty, an end to discrimination against political opponents, and demonstration of respect for democracy and human rights. “The regime in Belorus must understand that it has no choice in these matters if it wishes once again to belong to Europe. There can be no compromise on this.”

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