The Political Affairs Committee expresses deep concern at
the deteriorating situation of human rights and civil and political
liberties in Belarus in 2011 and condemns the increasingly repressive
approach by the Belarusian authorities to any attempt to express
dissent in the country.
It gives full backing to the European Union’s targeted sanctions,
which should be maintained and even strengthened, and invites all
Council of Europe member states to align with them until the release
and full rehabilitation of all political prisoners and the end of
the crackdown on political opponents, civil society representatives
and human rights defenders.
It also proposes to step up the Parliamentary Assembly’s engagement
with representatives of civil society, independent media and opposition
forces as well as independent professional associations, and to
increase support for their development.
It finally recommends keeping on hold its activities involving
high-level contacts with the Belarusian authorities and maintaining
the suspension of the special guest status of the Parliament of
Belarus until a moratorium on the execution of the death penalty
has been decreed and until there is substantial, tangible and verifiable progress
in terms of respect for the democratic values and principles upheld
by the Council of Europe.