EU lawmakers have strongly condemned the arrest in Belarus of the chairman of the Council of the Union of Poles in Belarus, Andrzej Poczobut.
All major political parties in the European Parliament adopted a resolution on July 5 calling for an investigation into the case of Poczobut, who is also a journalist with the Polish daily "Gazeta Wyborcza," and for all the charges against him to be dropped.
A statement issued by the EU lawmakers "deplores the fact that the Belarusian authorities are making it impossible for journalists to operate, by introducing repressive laws aimed at silencing civil society activities."
It also calls for Belarus to bring its legislation into line with international standards and eliminate censorship.
Poczobut was arrested in the Belarusian town of Grodno last month and charged on grounds of libel against President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.