Why does Europe want to hobnob with a dictator?
One of the leaders of the Belarusian opposition and Coordinator of Charter 97 has rejected an invitation to attend events connected with the EU Summit in Prague. He believes the invitation issued to Lukashenko to be a grave mistake.
He names just three political prisoners - Mikalai Autukhovich, Yury Lyavonau, Uladzimir Asipenka and says that the first has been on hunger strike for more than a week demanding an open trial.
“Political repressions go on in our country, many Belarusians have had to emigrate due to political persecution, the authorities refuse to register political parties and NGOs, peaceful demonstrations are brutally dispersed and banned, we do not enjoy even minimum freedom of speech, youth activists are unlawfully drafted for military service. The authorities don’t investigate the cases of kidnapped opposition leaders and a journalist although the international community suspects them of involvement to these crimes. I think inviting Dictator Lukashenko to Prague when demands to release political prisoners and stop political repressions have not been met was a great mistake.
That’s why I have taken the decision not to go to Prague.”