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Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) joined the signatories of the open letter initiated by the members of the United States House of Representatives, which calls on releasing of political prisoners in Belarus and condemns Lukashenko regime’s use of violence.

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Enn Eesmaa underlined that violence against peaceful protesters in Belarus and politically motivated detention of members of the Coordination Council were regrettable. “We continue to stand for the civil society of Belarus and their free will. Together with all who have signed the letter, we stand in strong support of the vision of Europe free and at peace, where citizens can choose their own future. We find that the people of Belarus deserve the same,” Eesmaa said.

Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson noted that the open letter supported carefully targeted sanctions against human rights offenders in Belarus. “The letter demands that the Lukashenko regime members responsible for grave human rights violations committed against Belarusians should be brought to justice. This also includes imposing of sanctions, and international coordination and cooperation, also with our transatlantic allies, is important in preparing for this,” he added.

“As legislators whose nations are bound together by shared democratic, transatlantic values, we stand in strong solidarity with the Belarusian people, including those protesting and wrongly imprisoned,” the open letter says. “We condemn the Lukashenko regime’s use of violence, intimidation, arrests, and repressive tactics against the people of Belarus, including the targeting of leading members of the Coordination Council.”

The legislators find that Lukashenka’s regime has unjustly detained opposition leader Marya Kalesnikava and her colleagues. They demand that all charges against Kalesnikava be dropped, and that she be immediately released along with fellow Coordination Council members and all other political prisoners.

The signatories of the open letter emphasise that they are monitoring the situation in Belarus and the regime’s actions closely. “We … are fully committed to using our legislative powers to advocate and act to support the Belarusian people.”

The open letter has also been signed by the representatives of the parliaments of Poland, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Italy, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Bulgaria, Malta, Switzerland, Moldova, Austria, Denmark, Norway and Ireland, and the European Parliament.

Full text of the open letter

Riigikogu Press Service
Liisa Johanna Lukk
Phone: +372 631 6456, +372 5331 0789
E-mail: liisajohanna.lukk@riigikogu.ee
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee

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