Central European PMs call on Belarus to observe human rights

Bratislava - The prime ministers of Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have jointly supported Belarusian opposition persecuted by the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko at their meeting in Bratislava.

The prime ministers called on President Lukashenko to release all activists imprisoned after the presidential elections in December, end repressions against the political opposition, independent media and civic society, and observe human rights and freedoms.

Belarusian police suppressed demonstrations following the elections, which the opposition says were manipulated. According to the official results, Lukashenko won 80 percent of the vote in the election's first round.

Several dozens of opposition representatives face punishment of up to 15 years in prison.

In January, the European Union banned top officials of Lukashenko?s regime from entering its territory and it froze their bank accounts in European banks.

The prime ministers of Austria, Germany and Ukraine today joined the talks of their counterparts from the Visegrad Four (V4) group. The meeting focused on the economic crisis, energy security and EU enlargement, among others.


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