Minister of State Hoyer condemns continued detention of political prisoners in Belarus

29.09.2011 - Press release

Over the past few days there have been several reports about the bad conditions political prisoners in Belarus have to endure. The detainees are generally also denied contact with their lawyers, relatives and doctors.

In this connection Werner Hoyer, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (29 September) in Berlin:

“The German Government strongly condemns the continued detention of political prisoners in Belarus. This is incompatible with the democratic principles to which Germany and Europe are committed and which are due to be reaffirmed at the Eastern Partnership summit beginning today.
We are gravely concerned by credible reports about the conditions in which the political prisoners in Belarus are being held, notably as regards inadequate medical care, information embargoes, psychological pressure and threatened physical abuse.
The German Government urgently calls on the Belarusian authorities to comply with their international obligations regarding the treatment of prisoners and to release the political prisoners still in detention immediately and ensure their rehabilitation.”

At present seven political prisoners who were arrested following the presidential elections in Belarus in late 2010 are still being held in detention, including some who had stood as candidates in the elections. On a number of occasions recently relatives and lawyers of the detainees reported on the bad conditions and harassment the detainees had to endure. They also reported being denied information at times on the whereabouts of several of the detainees.

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