03 Feb, 2021

ALDE President condemns recent events in Russia, Poland and Burma

The news of the sentencing of Alexei Navalny on 2 February for 3.5 years in prison have been met with shock by many. Upon his return to Russia, Navalny was held in police custody for allegedly violating the terms of a previous suspended sentence for fraud.

ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen strongly condemns the ‘show trial’ Navalny received and continues to stand by the Russian opposition forces and against the shameful practices of Russian authorities. He calls for the European Union and the United States to impose sanctions against Russia.

President van Baalen also strongly condemns the recently introduced changes on abortion laws in Poland. Just three months after some of the biggest ever manifestations took place in the country, the Polish government has banned abortion with immediate effect.

Abortion is now only allowed in the case of rape, incest or when the life of a woman is in danger. This move is a continuation of the undemocratic and ultra-conservative agenda of the governing Law and Justice Party (PiS).

President van Baalen continues to stand by the Polish citizens, stating that this change will violate women’s rights as well as the right for self-determination.

President van Baalen has also reacted to the military coup d’état in Burma after it emerged the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and senior officials were detained as the Parliament was to reconvene following elections in which her party the National League for Democracy increased their majority. He has called for their immediate release and for democracy to be respected.

The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), of which Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is an Honorary Member and her party an Observer member, also condemned the coup in a statement and lamented the reverse in democratic gains the country has achieved since the 2015 general elections.

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