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Tánaiste regrets Belarus travel ban on civil society activist

Human Rights, Press Releases, Europe, 2012

DUBLIN, 12 July 2012 – The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Eamon Gilmore, T.D., in his capacity as the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), expressed his strong regret about the Belarusian authorities’ decision to prevent a Belarusian civil society activist from travelling to an OSCE meeting in Vienna today.

Viktor Kornienko, who is a co-chair of the civil initiative For Fair Elections, had been invited to attend the two-day Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Democratic Elections and Election Observation, which starts today.

“I strongly regret the decision by the Belarusian authorities to prevent Mr Kornienko travelling to this meeting. The participation of civil society representatives has always been central to the OSCE’s work, as has been repeatedly recognized by the 56 OSCE participating States, including Belarus,” said the Tánaiste. “I urge the Belarusian authorities to reverse this decision as soon as possible.”