OSCE: EU Statement on Belarus

Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Permanent Council No. 639
23 November 2006

Mr. Chairman,

The EU expresses its deep concern of the reportedly worsening health condition of the former Belarusian presidential candidate Mr. Aleksandr Kozulin who started a hunger strike in prison on 20 October, 2006. We underline the responsibility of Belarusian authorities to assure Mr. Kozulin access to proper health care.

The EU is worried that the wife and the daughters of Mr Kozulin, his lawyer as well as the German Ambassador performing the functions of the local EU Presidency in Belarus are prevented from visiting Mr. Kozulin. The EU strongly urges the Belarusian authorities to grant family members, his lawyer and international monitors free access to Mr. Kozulin.

We call upon the Belarusian authorities to promptly release all political prisoners.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia, EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this statement.

* Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process