Tomorrow's protests in Minsk must be met in a peaceful manner by the state security forces. "I am concerned at the recent developments in Belarus. It is vital that the state institutions and security organs refrain from violence. Citizens must be granted their civic rights of freedom of expression and assembly", said Michael Gahler MEP who is the EPP Group’s Spokesman in the Security and Defence Committee of the European Parliament.

"The Belarus people love peace and have no record of violent protest. Media reports of armed provocations and terrorist activities are apparently supposed to prepare the ground for the violent suppression of civic protest with social and economic motivations against the Belarus government", Gahler said.

"Almost all Europeans have achieved peace, liberty, freedom, and economic well-being. And they have done so by means of democracy and the rule of law. We are your European neighbours and ready for co-operation. Set free all of the 300 detained people, politicians, journalists, and demonstrators", the EPP Group MEP said ahead of tomorrow's protests.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 27 Member States

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