Belarusian Christian Democracy demands release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners


The organizing committee for the Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) party has called on the Belarusian authorities to release and rehabilitate all activists still imprisoned on political grounds.

In a statement issued on September 17, BCD said that it welcomed the recent release of 11 people convicted over a post-election protest staged in Minsk’s Independence Square on December 19, 2010 but strongly demanded the release of other “political prisoners,” including former presidential candidates Andrey Sannikaw, Mikalay Statkevich and Dzmitry Uss, Malady Front leaders Zmitser Dashkevich and Eduard Lobaw, Mr. Sannikaw’s ally Dzmitry Bandarenka, as well as opposition politician Paval Sevyarynets, human rights defender Ales Byalyatski and businessman Mikalay Awtukhovich.

“At the same time, we believe that it will not be enough to just release the political prisoners. We demand that those convicted on political grounds be completely rehabilitated,” said BCD.

BCD also condemned as politically motivated a sentence passed in May on its activist, Yawhen Vaskovich, for alleged involvement in last year`s firebomb attack on the KGB office in Babruysk.

The sentence is too harsh and the time that Mr. Vaskovich has already served is “sufficient punishment for his act,” said BCD.

The party also demanded the revision of “harsh” prison sentences passed on Mr. Vaskovich’s co-defendants, Pavel Syramalotaw and Artsyom Prakapenka, as well as on Ihar Alinevich, Mikalay Dzyadok and Alyaksandr Frantskevich who were convicted in May in a so-called anarchists’ case. //BelaPAN