EU Officials Received Thousands of Postcards Demanding Sanctions Against Belarus

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| Source: Belarusians in Exile

NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In the summer of 2013, Belarus Free Theater, a well-known underground theater group, held sold-out performances in London. After the show called 'Trash Cuisine', a provocative performance with such elements as electrocution, stoning, and hanging – a metaphor for the situation with human rights in the Republic of Belarus, hundreds of spectators signed postcards addressed to the EU officials.

The cards stated: "Repression is increasing in Belarus. The last dictatorship in Europe employs capital punishment; opponents are kidnapped or imprisoned. Yet every year the EU buys more from Belarus. We ask for an increase in targeted economic and political sanctions against all enterprises supporting the Belarusian Presidential Administration…"

Thousands of signed postcards with 'REALPOLITIK' logo on the back were received by the EU officials responsible for economic policy towards Belarus. European External Action Service published a reply to the petitioners on its website: "The immediate and unconditional release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners is a political priority for the EU. This is evidenced by the reference to the political prisoners, including the conditions under which they are imprisoned and their state of health, in all relevant actions, statements and diplomatic messages of the EU…"

Belarusians in Exile (BiE), the US-based organization, supported the petition to the EU: "Despite the fact that some sanctions against the Belarusian regime are in place, the EU keeps buying more from Belarus every year, effectively sponsoring the regime and providing it with much-needed hard currency. We hope that the EU officials will listen to the human rights organizations and will expand sanctions against the main sponsors of the regime, the state-owned conglomerates that sell oil, chemicals, and potash to the EU. We believe that this is the most effective way to push for changes in this country," says Dima Shehigelsky, BiE director.

The EU reviews restrictive measures against Belarus annually. The next review is to take place in October of 2013.

Ilya Lushnikov
Belarusians in Exile
+1 (646) 583-2525
www.belarusiansinexile.org