Four delegates to Minsk meeting of Party of European Left denied Belarusian visas

The meeting, organized by the \"Spravedlivy Mir\" party, focused on democratic processes in the context of global economic recession...


Four foreign members of the Party of the European Left (PEL) invited to an international conference that was held in Minsk on June 9 and 10 failed to attend it after being denied Belarusian entry visas, Syarhey Kalyakin, chairman of the "Spravedlivy Mir" (Just World) Belarusian Party of the Left, which is a member of the PEL, told reporters in Minsk on Sunday.

Those were Pedro Marset Campos of Spain who chairs the Executive Board of the PEL, an association of democratic socialist and communist political parties, as well as one Czech and two Estonian PEL members, said Mr. Kalyakin.

The latter three men were denied entry visas by the Belarusian embassies in their countries, while Mr. Campos was fined 90 euros upon arrival at Minsk National Airport, where he planned to apply for a visa, and ordered to fly black, according to Mr. Kalyakin.

The meeting, organized by the "Spravedlivy Mir" party, focused on democratic processes in the context of global economic recession.

Danish political expert Aksel-Vladimir Karlsen, another conference participant, told reporters that he had barely escaped deportation after arriving in Minsk. Dr. Karlsen reportedly arrived at Minsk National Airport at night, when the immigration desk was closed. When he applied for a visa in Minsk the next day, he was fined on a charge of entering Belarus illegally but still got the visa stamped in his passport.

Mr. Kalyakin said that the Belarusian authorities’ attempt to disrupt the event had failed. “In the modern world, you cannot prevent people from sharing ideas and thoughts with each other by denying them entry into a country. Our associates’ reports were still discussed at the meeting,” he said.

“Moreover, the authorities’ plot backfired,” said Mr. Kalyakin. “They have made us better known in European countries, while simultaneously unmasking Lukashenka, who was even considered by some in Europe to be a socialist thanks to his rhetoric. //BelaPAN