The EU condemned the new amendments to the Citizenship Law that were introduced by the Belarusian National Assembly on 21 December. When signed by Lukashenko, this law will open the possibility for depriving Belarusians living abroad of their citizenship.
The EU says, this bill is “a further step in the Belarusian regime’s brutal persecution of all independent voices”.
“Representatives of the democratic forces, media and civil society, who have fled the country to escape persecution, could thus risk becoming stateless,” says a statement by the EUropean Union External Action Service. “This would be in breach of international law. Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights protects everyone’s right to a nationality and prohibits its arbitrary deprivation.”
The EU reminds that there are now more than 1440 political prisoners in Belarus often detained in inhumane conditions, trials take place behind closed doors and judgments are delivered in absentia. Earlier this year, the scope of the use of the death penalty was widened to include “attempted acts of terrorism”, a charge that can be brought arbitrarily for political reasons and in the absence of any transparency or due process.
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