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Photo: Council of Europe / Ellen Wuibaux
The Finnish delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is concerned about the political situation in Belarus and the direction in which democracy in the country is developing.
“It is obvious that the presidential elections did not meet international electoral standards and the elections result does not reflect the will of the Belarusians. The political rights and freedoms of the citizens have been blatantly violated. The outside world can accept neither violence against peaceful demonstrators nor illegal arrests," says Mr Kimmo Kiljunen (Social Democratic Party), Chair of the Finnish delegation and Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
In addition to the release of political prisoners, Belarus should allow an impartial investigation of the use of force by security authorities. Kiljunen also hopes that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe could provide a forum for political actors in Belarus to discuss peacefully the possibility of organizing new presidential elections.
Kiljunen underlined that foreign actors should not interfere in the country's internal democratic processes either, but Belarusians should be allowed to resolve the matter themselves.
Supported by the other members of the Finnish PACE delegation, Mr Kimmo Kiljunen suggests that the PACE would hold a current affairs debate on the situation in Belarus during its next session.