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)
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