The European Union demands the immediate and unconditional release of Viktar Babaryka as well as of all political prisoners, detained journalists and people who are behind bars for exercising their fundamental rights, according to a press release by the EU spokesperson.
The statement was issued on 6 June following the sentencing of Viktar Babaryka to 14 years in prison. It reminds that Babaryka had been held in detention since 18 June 2020, “for the sole reason to have tried to exercise his political right to stand as a candidate in the presidential elections in August 2020”.
“The regime must halt repression and injustice and hold perpetrators to account,” the statement says. “This sentence is one of at least 125 unfair and arbitrary recent verdicts by Belarusian courts in politically motivated trials, often held behind closed doors and without due process of law.”
Today, Belarus has over 530 political prisoners, hundreds of documented instances of torture, and continued repression against all segments of society to silence all dissent and ill treatment in detention centres.
“Serious human rights violations come at a price. Since last October, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures in response to the continued intimidation and violent repression of peaceful protesters, opposition members and journalists,” says the statement. “In line with its gradual approach, the EU stands ready to consider further measures.”
Find out more
Interested in the latest news and opportunities?
This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a B&S Europe-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.