Minister for Europe concerned by amended laws affecting civil liberties in Belarus

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Minister for Europe David Lidington said that he is deeply concerned by legislative amendments approved by the Belarusian Parliament that would tighten the regime's restrictions on civil society groups and the political opposition.

Speaking today the Minister for Europe said:

“I am deeply concerned by the legislative amendments recently approved by the Belarusian Parliament. If applied, they will tighten still further the regime’s severe restrictions on the activities of civil society groups and the political opposition in Belarus, making it impossible for them to operate effectively and fulfil their rightful role in a democratic society.

“Further amendments before Parliament appear to be designed to make it all but impossible for Belarusian citizens to exercise their rights of freedom of expression and assembly, and are not in line with Belarus’s obligations under international human rights law. I am particularly concerned about measures which give the KGB a wide scope of discretionary powers without judicial checks and balances.

“Repressive developments such as these demonstrate that the regime does not espouse the values supported by the mainstream of the international community. We will raise our serious concern with Belarusian representatives at the earliest opportunity.”