During today’s plenary debate on the resolution dealing with the continuing repression in Belarus and the recent abductions from an EU civilian plane intercepted by Belarusian authorities, the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament called for the unconditional release of journalist Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega and for the adoption of sanctions on individuals and entities involved in the plane hijacking and their detention.
The resolution, which will be voted on Thursday, also calls for the adoption by the Council of the forth package of sanctions regarding the electoral fraud and subsequent human rights violations , including the persecution of independent journalists and bloggers, and for economic sanctions, focusing on public and private companies supporting and funding the Lukashenka regime.
Dacian Cioloş (USR PLUS, Romania), President of Renew Europe Group, said:
“What we saw in Minsk on the 23rd May was a dictator playing with EU citizen’s lives at his own will and this must never happen again. Our reaction will show our citizens how we defend them and how the EU acts on the international scene. We need to show that freedom of thought and expression is not something we negotiate. Belarusians deserve to enjoy the same freedoms as all Europeans.”
Renew Europe MEP, Petras Auštrevičius (Lithuanian Liberal Movement), the European Parliament’s standing rapporteur on Belarus, added:
“We must justify the expectations of the Belarusian people towards the EU and contain the Lukashenka regime by imposing broad sectorial sanctions. In addition, the EU should initiate and host a high-level conference on the future of a democratic Belarus, not only pledging, but providing real-time support to democratic civil society of Belarus.“
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