Following the sentencing of a Belarusian demonstrator to a four-year prison term, Markus Loning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, today (17 February) issued in the United States the following statement:
"The sentencing of 27-year-old Vasily Parfenkov shows that the Belarusian Government remains intent on suppressing freedom of opinion and freedom to demonstrate. This makes it very clear that imposing sanctions on the regime was the right course.
The German Government calls for an immediate end to the harassment and trials of members of the Opposition as well as the release of all political detainees. That is the only way the Belarusian Government can put an end to the country's present isolation in Europe."