Doc. 10619

28 June 2005

Abuse of the criminal justice system in Belarus

Motion for a resolution

presented by Mr Pourgourides and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1.       The Assembly regrets that Belarus is the last European country that could not yet be admitted to the Council of Europe.

2.       It recalls the serious shortcomings of the Belarusian legal system in the fields of human rights and the rule of law, shown by Resolution 1371 (2004) and Recommendation 1657 (2004) on missing persons, Resolution 1372 (2004) and Recommendation 1658 (2004) on the persecution of the press.

3.       It is deeply concerned about recent abuses of the criminal justice system for the purpose of silencing the opposition.

4.       The Assembly is particularly worried about the cases of :

-       Mikhail Marynich, a former Ambassador and Minister of Foreign Economic Affairs;

-       Mikola Statkevich, chair of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party;

-       Paval Sevyarynets, one of the leaders of the “Young Frong”;

-       Andrei Klimov, former parliamentarian and businessman;

-       Valery Levaneusky, member of the Council of civil initiatives “Free Belarus”;

-       Aliaksandr Vasilieu, of the National Strike Committee of entrepreneurs;

-       Yuri Bandazhevski, scientist.

5.       It welcomes the strong positions taken on the recent spate of politically-motivated criminal cases in Belarus by the Presidency of the European Union and the OSCE office in Minsk, and commends non-governmental human rights organisations for their continued engagement in favour of prisoners of conscience.

6.       The Assembly resolves to carefully examine these cases, and any others that will be brought to its attention, in view of its continued interest in developments in Belarus in the fields of human rights and the rule of law.

Signed (see overleaf)

Signed 1:

POURGOURIDES, Christos, Cyprus, EPP/CD

BADRÉ, Denis, France, ALDE

BARGHOLTZ, Helena, Sweden, ALDE

GROSS, Andreas, Switzerland, SOC

HOLOVATY, Serhiy, Ukraine, ALDE

JURGENS, Erik, Netherlands, SOC

LEUTHEUSSER-SCHNARRENBERGER, Sabine, Germany, ALDE

RINGSTAD, Jorunn, Norway, ALDE

SALLES, Rudy, France, ALDE

TEVDORADZE, Elene, Georgia, ALDE

WOHLWEND, Renate, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD


1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group