Parliamentary question by Maurizio Turco (NI) to the Commission and answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission
WRITTEN QUESTION E-2256/03
by Maurizio Turco (NI) to the Commission
(27 June 2003)
Subject: Violations of religious freedom with regard to Pentecostal Church evangelists in Belarus
In the context of the new wave of restrictions on religious meetings in the private homes of Pentecostal evangelists in town and villages in western Belarus, Aleksandr Tolochko was fined in accordance with Article 193 of the Civil Code, which condemns unregistered religious activities.
Individuals fined in Baranovichi, in the Brest region, include two women, one an invalid, the other a pensioner. Bishop Nikolai Kurkaev has denounced the new law on religion, which came into force last November.
The government signed an agreement with the Orthodox Church on 12 June which, according to a number of other religious communities, will further reduce their rights. According to Bishop Khomich, police raids in the middle of the night are illegal, since religious services in the village of Zheludok have not yet begun.
An official, Sergei Kasperchuk, has erroneously claimed that in every European country church members must be registered in order to hold meetings (Belarus is the only European country to impose this requirement, contrary to international laws on human rights).
In view of the excellent economic and commercial cooperation relations between the European Union and Belarus, can the Commission say:
- whether it is aware of the facts outlined above;
- what measures, in the context of cooperation, might constitute a serious and effective way of persuading Belarus to respect religious freedom?
Answer given by Mr Patten
on behalf of the Commission
(8 August 2003)
The September 1997 Council Resolution on Belarus concluded that the EC and their Member States would conclude neither the interim agreement nor the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement with Belarus and that implementation of Community and Member states technical assistance programmes would be halted, except in the case of humanitarian or regional projects or those which directly support the democratisation process.
The Commission is certainly concerned by the application of the law “On liberty of conscience and religious organisations” in Belarus. The Union has expressed these concerns in the Organisation on Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The Commission would like to reiterate that it attaches great importance to the rights of freedom of religion, belief and expression. The Union has repeatedly affirmed that human rights and democratisation must form an integral part of all political dialogues with third countries. Religious freedom, as one of the fundamental human rights, as well as the rights of religious minorities are thus addressed through the EUs bilateral political dialogues, and, when appropriate, through démarches and public declarations, as well as through Union action in fora such as the United Nations Commission on Human Rights or the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly.
The Commission remains committed to supporting freedom of religion and Human Rights in Belarus, in close co-operation with Member States, the Council of Europe, OSCE and the United Nations and will continue to raise the issue with Belarus in all possible fora.
Members and contributors 2013
|Giuseppe R. Roma||590 €|
|Salvatore P. Capistrello||200 €|
|Giancarlo B. Torino||30 €|
|Marco B. Merano||20 €|
|Davide B. Prato||50 €|
|Giuseppe P. Grottammare||50 €|
|Maurizio T. Roma||1.000 €|
|Rosa A. Firenze||590 €|
|Giuliano G. Sondrio||590 €|
|Sergio Pasquale R. Cremona||500 €|
|Total SUM||326.746 €|
Online Donations 2013
GeorgiaSOUTHERN CAUCASUS: THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT STILL SHORT OF AMBITION
GeorgiaGEORGIA: THE MATURITY SHOWN BY THE GEORGIAN PEOPLE MUST LEAD THE UNION TO INCLUDE GEORGIA ON THE LIST OF CANDIDATE COUNTRIES!
GeorgiaREVELATIONS ABOUT THE MURDER OF THE JOURNALIST ANTONIO RUSSO IN GEORGIA. QUESTION TO THE COUNCIL
Dello stesso autore
11/23/2001 Afghanistan Parliamentary question by Maurizio Turco (NI) to the Commission and answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission
06/24/2003 LEGALITY Parliamentary question by Maurizio Turco (NI) to the Commission and answer given by Mr Prodi on behalf of the Commission
01/07/2002 LEGALITY Parliamentary question by Maurizio Turco (NI) to the Commission and answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission
07/21/2003 Freedom Of Religion Parliamentary question E-2542/03 by Maurizio Turco (NI) to the Commission and answer by Mr. Patten on behalf the Commission
- 1 of 28
Vladimir SocorFrance leads the EU's nyet to Georgia border monitoring
Central Asia Caucasus Analyst
Mamuka TsereteliRussian economic expansion in the Caucasus: a challenge for Georgia
02/05/2005Zhvania Associate Found Dead Of Apparent Suicide
02/03/2005Georgia prime minister found dead
06/26/2008 Civil Rights QUESTIONS (EP) EP, Write question, Detention-without-charge in the UK
10/01/2007 Chechnya QUESTIONS (EP) OSCE's Exclusion of Nongovernmental Organizations, a Violation of the Helsinki Principles
07/01/2005 QUESTIONS (EP) Vietnam Human rights violations against the Montagnard people of the Vietnam Highlands
03/01/2005 Egypt QUESTIONS (EP) Ayman Nur: Reply to the written question of Emma Bonino by Benita Ferrero-Waldner on behalf of the EC