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Brussels, 7 November 2012
Press statement following the meeting of Commissioner Füle with Marina Adamovich and Natalia Pinchuk
The conditions of imprisonment of political prisoners in Belarus and the European efforts to achieve their release and rehabilitation were the main topics of the meeting in Brussels on Wednesday between Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle with the wives of two of the political prisoners, Marina Adamovich and Natalia Pinchuk. Commissioner Füle underlined that the issue of the political prisoners is at the top of the EU agenda. "I fully understand the personal suffering of your husbands and your families," he said. "I call once more on the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release and rehabilitate all political prisoners. I also urge the authorities to refrain from exercising pressure on and subjecting political prisoners to inhumane conditions." Commissioner Füle stressed that any positive change in the EU's relations with the Belarusian authorities depends on this issue.
In the discussion with M.Adamovich and N.Pinchuk he recalled the EU's support for the cause of the political prisoners fighting for democratic values.
M. Adamovich is the wife of the former presidential candidate Mikalay Statkevich who has been in prison since December 2010. N. Pinchuk is the wife of the president of the human rights organisation Viasna - Ales Bialiatski, who has been in prison since August 2011.