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 NEWS


Draft Council Conclusions on Belarus, in view of 10 April 2006 GAERC (EU General Affairs and External Relations Council)

April 10, 2006.

    1. Recalling its previous conclusions on Belarus, notably those of 7 November 2005 and 30 January 2006, and the Declaration adopted by the European Council on 23-24 March 2006 as well as the Presidency declaration on behalf of the European Union of 22 March 2006, the Council once again deplores that the Presidential elections of 19 March were not held in a free and fair manner, and condemns the violence used by the Belarusian authorities against demonstrators and the ensuing arrests of demonstrators and members of the opposition.
    2. The Council condemns the treatment of all the political detainees and demands their immediate release. It calls on the Belarusian authorities to respect freedom of expression and assembly in compliance with commitments undertaken by Belarus in the framework of the OSCE and international human rights law.
    3. The Council equally condemns the actions taken by the Belarusian authorities against citizens of EU member states, in particular arrests, beatings and humiliating treatment in detention.
    4. The Council urges the Belarusian authorities not to penalise or discriminate against those exercising their right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, including the leaders of the opposition parties.
    5. In view of the recent events, the Council has decided to adopt restrictive measures against President Lukashenko, the Belarusian leadership and officials responsible for the violations of international electoral standards, in particular those of the OSCE, and international human rights law, as well as for the crackdown on civil society and democratic opposition. The individuals listed in annex will be subjected to a visa ban and possible further targeted measures. Such measures will not be directed against the Belarusian population.
    6. The Council will keep the measures to be adopted and the list of persons targeted open and under constant review. The measures should be reviewed in light of the speedy release and rehabilitation of all political detainees, and in the light of reforms made to the Electoral Code
    to bring it in line with OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections as recommended by the OSCE/ODIHR, the conduct of future elections, and concrete actions by the authorities to respect democratic values, the rule of law, human rights, and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression and of the media, and the freedom of assembly and political association.
    7. The EU will continue to act in close coordination with international partners, and urges all countries to adopt similar measures.
    8. These steps are adopted in addition to those taken by the Council on 24 September 2004 against four Belarusian officials identified as key actors in the disappearances of four Belarusian personalities; and those taken on 13 December 2004 against two officials responsible for the October 2004 fraudulent elections and referendum as well as severe human rights violations in the repression of peaceful demonstrators.
    9. In the course of the election campaign, the European Union has witnessed the emergence of pluralistic forces and the consolidation of a genuine Belarusian opposition as well as a politically active civil society. In very difficult circumstances and at great personal risk, opposition candidates and their supporters have offered the Belarusian population a democratic alternative. The Council reiterates its commitment to engage with Belarusian society by further strengthening its support for civil society and democratisation; it will also intensify and facilitate people-to-people contacts and enhance access to independent sources of information.
    10. The EU remains open to developing bilateral relations with Belarus, including in the context of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and the European Neighbourhood Policy, provided the Belarusian authorities prove a sincere willingness to respect human rights, the rule of law and democratic values and initiate democratic reforms.
    ANNEX:
    31 individuals to be targeted by the restrictive measures (visa ban):
    1. Lukashenko Aleksandr Grigorievich (30.08.1954. Kopys, Vitebsk oblast) President
    2. Nievyhlas Hienadz Mikalayevich; Nevyglas Gennady Nikolaevich (11.02.1954. Parahonsk, Pinsk district) Head of President's Administration
    3. Petkevich Nataliya Vladimirovna (1972. Minsk) Deputy Head of President's administration
    4. Rubinov Anatoly Nikolaevich (1940.) Deputy Head in charge of media and ideology, PA
    5. Praliaskowski Alieh Vitoldavich; Proleskovskiy Oleg Vitoldovich (01.10.1963. Zagorsk - Russia, now Sergijev Posad) Aide and Head of the Main Ideological department, PA
    6. Radkov Aleksandr Mikhailovich (01.07.1951. Votnya) Minister of Education
    7. Rusakevich Vladimir Vasilevich (13.09.1947. Vygonoshchi) Minister of Information
    8. Halavanaw Viktar Ryhoravich; Golovanov Viktor Grigorevich (1952. Borisov) Minister of Justice
    9. Zimowski Aliaksandr Lieanidavich; Zimovsky Alexander Leonidovich (10.01.1961. Possibly Ukraine) Member of the Upper House of the Parliament; Head of the national state teleradio company
    10. Kanapliow Uladzimir Mikalayevich; Konoplyev Vladimir Nikolaevich (03.01.1954. Akulintsy) Chairman of the Lower House of the Parliament
    11. Charhiniets Mikalay Ivanavich; Cherginets Nikolai Ivanovich (17.10.1937. Minsk) Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Upper House
    12. Kastsian Siarhiey Ivanavich; Kostyan Sergey Ivanovich (15.01.1941. Usokhi, Mogilev oblast) Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lower House
    13. Orda Mikhail Siarhieyevich, Orda Mikhail Sergeyevich (28.09.1966. Dyatlovo, Grodno oblast)
    Member of the Upper House, leader of BRSM
    14. Lozovik Nikolay Ivanovich (1951.Nevinyany, Minsk oblast), Deputy of the Central Election Commission of Belarus
    15. Miklashevich Pyotr Petrovich (1954. Kosuta, Minsk oblast) Prosecutor General
    16. Slizhevsky Oleg Leonidovich, Head of the Division of Social organisations, parties and NGOs, Ministry of Justice
    17. Khariton Alexandr, Consultant of the Division of Social organisations, parties and NGOs of the Ministry of Justice
    18. Smyrnov Yevgeny (1949. Ryazan oblast, Russia), First Deputy of the Chairman of the Economic Court
    19. Reutskaya Nadezhda, Judge of the Moscow district of Minsk
    20. Trubnikov Nikolay, Judge of the Partizanskiy disctrict of Minsk
    21. Kupriyanov Nikolai, Prosecutor of Minsk
    22. Sukhorenko Stepan Nikolaevich (27.01.1957. Zdudichi, Mogilev oblast) Chairman of KGB
    23. Dementei Vasily Ivanovich, First deputy, KGB
    24. Kozik Lieanid Piatrovich; Kozik Leonid Petrovich (13.07.1948. Borisov) Head of the Federation of Trade Unions
    25. Koleda Alexandr, Сhairman of the Central Election Commission of the Brest oblast
    26. Usov, N.D., Сhairman of the Central Election Commission of the Gomel oblast
    27. Luchina Leonid, Сhairman of the Central Election Commission of the Grodno oblast
    28. Kravchenko Tayana Aleksandrovna, Сhairman of the Central Election Commission of the Minsk City
    29. Kurlovich Vladimir, Сhairman of the Central Election Commission of the Minsk oblast
    30. Metelitsa Nikolai, Сhairman of the Central Election Commission of the Mogilev oblast
    31. Pischulenok, M.V., Сhairman of the Central Election Commission of the Vitebsk oblast


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