Brussels - 11/01/2011
Tomorrow, Wednesday 12 January, the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek will meet a group of Belarusian democratic opposition representatives and later participate in the extraordinary Foreign Affairs (AFET) Committee meeting on the situation in Belarus.
President Buzek said: "Tomorrow is the long-awaited Belarusian day in the European Parliament. I am glad that so many of them - representatives of the Belarusian democratic opposition, independent media and civil society will come. They are always welcome in the European Parliament which is a kind of a second home for them especially until democracy and political freedom are fully restored in Belarus.
Prior to our meetings tomorrow, I would once again demand from the authorities in Minsk to free all those remaining in prison who have been detained on the election night and in the aftermath and to drop the heavy charges brought against 31 activists. In particular, I am concerned about the health conditions of the imprisoned and heavily beaten presidential candidates Uladzimir Nyaklyayew and Andrei Sannikau. They must be provided proper medical care immediately.
Tomorrow, together with the European Commission, the OSCE and the main actors of the European Parliament, we would like to brainstorm on the practical aspects of how the international community, and in particular the European Union, can help to give democracy and freedom a real chance in Belarus. It will also be a timely opportunity to start discussing possible revision of the EU policy towards Belarus following the violent aftermath of the presidential elections."
At 09:45am EP President Jerzy Buzek will meet with a group of Belarusian democratic opposition representatives in the President's Salon on the 12th floor of the PHS building in the European Parliament. The group includes the 2004 and 2006 EP Sakharov Prize Winners, Andrei Aliakandrau for the Belarusian Association of Journalists and Aliaksandr Milinkievich as well as Stanislau Shushkevich, first leader and head of state of the independent Belarus. The daughter of the detained presidential candidate Uladzimir Nyaklyayew, Ewa, will also be present.
Photo and TV opportunities before the meeting starts will be available. A door-step media opportunity may be possible after the meeting at around 10.20.
At 13:00, President Buzek will deliver a speech at the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) extraordinary meeting on Belarus in association with the Subcommittee on Human Rights, the Delegation for relations with Belarus and the Delegation to the EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly. The meeting takes place in PHS 1A002 room.
Note for editors:
Audiovisual news footage of the meeting with Alaksandar Milinkievic for download in MPG2 (broadcast quality) as well as in MPG 4-format (web quality) will be available on Europe by Satellite at the following web address:
Audiovisual news footage of the AFET meeting will be broadcast and web streamed LIVE at 13.00 CET and will thereafter be available for download in MPG2 (broadcast quality) as well as in MPG 4-format (web quality) at the following web address:
For further information:
Robert A. Golanski
Mobile: +32 475 751 663
Mobile: +32 476 331 038