Following recent events in Belarus where the Polish national minority organisation the Union of Poles was banned, coupled with numerous arrests and fines, the Intergroup issued the joint statement below.
Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages
Statement on Belarus and the Polish national minority
The Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages, strongly condemns the actions taken by the Belarusian authorities against the largest Polish minority organization and the members of the minority community. The facts, which include arrests, fines and a forced office closure, show a clear violation of not only minority, but also basic human rights. These actions further substantiate the undemocratic nature of the political system in Belarus.
Since its establishment the Intergroup has consistently supported the rights of national minorities. We therefore ask that the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs takes resolute action in order to send a clear message to the Belarusian Government that without a meaningful engagement in the democratic process, accompanied by the substantive recognition of human rights – including minority rights, the strengthening of relations between the EU and Belarus is not viable.
Strasbourg, 1 March 2010
Mrs Kinga GÁL, MEP – Co-Chair of the Intergroup
Mr Carl HAGLUND, MEP – Co-Chair of the Intergroup
Mr Oriol JUNQUERAS VIES, MEP – Vice-Chair of the Intergroup
Mr Csaba TABAJDI, MEP – Vice-Chair of the Intergroup