IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Statement of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum On Issuing Non-grata status to Belarus Anti-nuclear Activists
Tagged under Steering Committee
OF THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM
on the issuing of non-grata status by the Republic of Lithuania to Belarus anti-nuclear activists
November 30, 2012
We, the participants of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, express our deep concern at the issuing of non-grata status by the Republic of Lithuania to Belarusian anti-nuclear activists.
On September 26, 2012 Belarusian citizens, civil society activists, coordinator of public campaign “Astraviec Nuclear Power Plant is a Crime!” Mikalai Ulasevich and Tatsiana Novikava - coordinator of Belarusian anti-nuclear campaign, the secretary of independent public expertise of the project of Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus were listed as banned the entry to the territory of the Republic of Lithuania and were not allowed to enter Lithuania, as indicated in the documents issued to the activists by the Lithuanian border guards at the border. In the document issued to Tatsiana Novikava, it was also noted that she was the person that could threaten public order, health, international relations and internal security of Lithuania and other EU countries.
We, the participants of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum:
- do not see any legal basis for such action against environmental activists;
- consider the decision of the state authorities of the Republic of Lithuania politically motivated restrictions on the freedom of movement of EaP countries citizens;
- are convinced that the real basis of these restrictions is the public activity of our colleagues, members of the anti-nuclear movement.
Indeed, Mikalai Ulasevich and Tatsiana Novikava were going on September 26, 2012 in Vilnius to attend the conference "Lithuania - Belarus, nuclear neighborhood" in the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, where they had been invited to by the organizers to speak about the role of public control of decision-making related to nuclear power.
Never previously M. Ulasevich and T. Novikava were brought any claims by the migration services of the European Union, including the authorities of the Republic of Lithuania. The civil society activists have had Schengen visas opened, allowing multiple entries in the EU, they have periodically visited the Republic of Lithuania in recent years.
Tatsiana Novikava has regularly participated in public events on the issues of nuclear power in the EU, she was also one of the organizers of International conference on nuclear energy, held in December 2011 in the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and municipality of Vilnius.
Mikalai Ulasevich and Tatsiana Novikava are reputed activists, advocating revision of the decision to build nuclear power plants, promoting the nuclear-free region. Our colleagues have criticized nuclear power plant construction in Belarus, including drawing public attention to numerous violations that accompany this construction. Belarusian authorities have repeatedly harassed M. Ulasevich M. and T. Novikava for their activities.
Participants of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum:
1) Express concern at the unjustified issuing of non-grata status to the anti-nuclear activists, threatening the national security of Lithuania;
2) Draw attention to the fact that this step may close the border with the European Union to civil society activists from EaP countries, makes repressions against them easier for national authorities, prevents dissemination of publicly important information about insecurity of building nuclear power plants in EaP region, and violates basic human rights;
3) Ask the Government of the Republic of Lithuania to review their decision as soon as possible;
4) Ask members of the Seimas to assist in a fair review of discriminatory decision against civil society activists;
5) Appeal to the wide international community for support.