Chairwoman Condemns Violence in Election Aftermath in Belarus

Chairwoman Hautala sent today together with Mr Jacek Protasiewicz, Chair of European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Belarus, a letter to the Ambassador of Belarus concerning the aftermath of the 19th December elections and the situation of one of the candidates, Mr Vladimir Neklyaev in particular.[:]


20 December 2010

H.E. Mr Vladimir Senko
Embassy of Belarus in Brussels
Avenue Moliere 192
1050 Bruxelles

Your Excellency, Mr Vladimir Senko,

We are writing to you concerning the volatile aftermath of 19th of December presidential elections in Belarus, and the situation of one of the candidates, Mr Vladimir Neklyaev in particular.

According to the information we have received, he was beaten unconscious yesterday and last night was taken from hospital by seven police men dressed in civilian clothes. Up to the moment of our signing this letter, his family is refused any information of his whereabouts and he remains missing. It is most pressing and urgent that his whereabouts are disclosed and his family be informed. While under custody of the state forces, it is of utmost importance that his physical and mental wellbeing be ensured.

The case of Mr Neklyaev is of course not the only case we feel obliged to raise. According to the reports, the presidential candidates Vital Rymasheuski, Andrej Sannikov and Mikalaj Statkevich have also been beaten up and detained. It seems that the other candidates have, meanwhile, been arrested too. In total it would appear that more than 250 protesters have been beaten up and detained.

According to our understanding the situation is still developing fast and tension remains high. We therefore urge you to intervene on these cases to ensure that those arrested are either charged in accordance with law or freed without undue delay and that the state forces would strictly refrain from using any unnecessary violence.
It is furthermore important that all instances of violence and arbitrary detention be thoroughly investigated and that the treatment of those in detention be ensured to be in line with the universal human rights standards.

We look forward to hearing from you at first opportunity.


Chairwoman of European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights


Chair of European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Belarus