Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has made the following statement with regard to Belarus: “The situation in Belarus is of ongoing concern. Although Belarus is not a member state of the Council of Europe, we have cooperated in several areas and Belarus is party to a number of our conventions.
“I therefore call on the Belarusian authorities to guarantee freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, and to refrain from detaining peaceful demonstrators as well as from any kind of ill-treatment of protesters.
“Belarus needs to fully engage with civil society and this needs to start without delay.
“The Council of Europe and its expert bodies are ready to engage with Belarus to support the necessary reform process.”