Today in the late afternoon, Robert Biedroń MEP (Poland, S&D), chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Belarus was denied entry into Belarus upon arrival at Minsk Airport. He was told his name was on a list issued by the Interior Ministry and that they were placing him on the next flight back, with no further explanation given. Petras Auštrevičius MEP (Lithuania, Renew), the European Parliament’s standing rapporteur on Belarus, was even denied to board his flight to Minsk.
The two MEPs had intended to visit the country amid the violent response of the Belarusian authorities to massive protests against electoral fraud in the recent presidential elections and a broader crack-down against pro-democracy political figures, activists, and free media.
“As Members of the European Parliament and representatives of European Institutions we did not expect to be treated in such a way. The Belarusian government’s action is an effort to prevent independent observers and free media from acquiring firsthand knowledge of the situation in the country. If, as they claim, elections did take place normally and claims about the scale of repressions are fabricated, what do they have to hide?” said Robert Biedroń before boarding his return flight.