Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-10-22-Speech-1-038"

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"Mr President, on 10 October two activists from the Polish Association in Belarus, Angelika Borys and Igor Bancer, were arrested again in Grodno. They were charged under the pretext of hooliganism and Bancer was sentenced to ten days’ imprisonment, whilst Borys was fined the equivalent of about fifteen times the average monthly salary in Belarus. It is well known, however, that the real reason for their arrest was the planned demonstration by the opposition against the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko. The Belarus authorities have again demonstrated that organisational independence and freedom will not be tolerated in that country. Fear, arrests under any pretext, and maligning western countries are the methods that Lukashenko has used for a long time to maintain his tyrannous rule. Mr President, we cannot allow such widespread breaches of the human rights of personal dignity and freedom to take place right next to the European Union. Europe cannot be democratic if Belarus is not a free country. Let us increase our spending to help Belarus society to escape from the tyranny of dictatorship. Let us demand that the rights of ethnic minorities be respected, that arrests without just cause be stopped and that political prisoners be freed. This is the only way to change the one tyranny and dictatorship in Europe."@en1

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