Civil Rights Defenders (CRD) interviewed Belarusian activists for its new report, “Dictatorship No More? EU Sanctions Lifted at the Expense of Civil and Political Rights in Belarus.” The report highlights testimonies of activists who say the government remains deeply repressive despite the European Union’s (EU) claim that Belarus has improved its human rights record. It also finds that the Belarusian government has failed to institute policy recommendations agreed upon with the EU in exchange for lifting sanctions last year.
CRD urges the EU to “prolong the arms embargo and sanctions” against individuals “responsible for the disappearances of four regime critics in 1999 and 2000.” Additionally, they have asked the EU to pressure the Belarusian government to allow Belarusian activists to engage in dialogue with the EU, and fully implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Robert Hardh is the Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders and a Steering Committee member of the World Movement for Democracy.