Diplomatic breakdown will affect civil society

The diplomatic crisis that has evolved between Belarus and Sweden during the last couple of days will affect the Belarusian civil society: ”Regardless of what happens next, it is the Belarusian civil society who will suffer”, says Robert Hårdh, Executive Director Civil Rights Defenders.

Robert Hårdh Executive Director Civil Rights Defenders Photo: Ninke LiebertAs the diplomatic crisis has evolved Civil Rights Defenders Executive Director Robert Hårdh has been interviewed in several media about the situation in Belarus. In his comments Robert Hårdh has said the removal of all Swedish embassy staff from Belarus will constitute a great loss in moral support for human rights defenders in the country and that there is no reason to doubt that Stefan Eriksson is to be expelled due to his and Sweden’s strong position for the advancement of human rights.

On Friday, 3 August, it became public that the Swedish ambassador Stefan Eriksson was going to be expelled from Belarus, with the explanation that Stefan Eriksson have had unwarranted contact with the opposition. The Swedish Foreign Minister’s response was to not grant the newly appointed Belarusian ambassador entry permit to Sweden and to further expel two Belarusian diplomats. On Wednesday, 8 August, Belarus issued that the Belarusian embassy in Stockholm will be closed down and that all Swedish embassy personnel will be expelled.

All links below are in Swedish:

Diplomatisk kris
2012.08.09 | P1, Studio Ett

Diplomatiskt krig trappas upp
2012.08.09 | Sydsvenskan

EU kan införa sanktioner mot Vitryssland
2012.08.08 | SVT

Vitryssland slänger ut alla svenskar
2012.08.08 | TV4

Vitrysslandexpert: ”Det har legat i luften”
2012.08.08 | SvD

Bildt: Lukasjenko är en buse
2012.08.08 | GP

Utvisning försvårar för oppositionen
2012.08.04 | SVT

Sveriges ambassador portas av Lukasjenko
2012.08.04 | Sydsvenskan

Sveriges ambassadör utvisad från Vitryssland
2012.08.03 | Sveriges Radio, Studio Ett

Categories: News.
Tags: Alexander Lukasjenka, Civil society, Human Rights Defender, and Robert Hårdh.
Regions: Belarus and Sweden.