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EU again assails Belarus over political prisoners issue

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July 24, 2012, 12:21 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, has criticized Belarus again, saying there is no place for political prisoners in present-day Europe.
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BRUSSELS - The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, has criticized Belarus again, saying there is no place for political prisoners in present-day Europe.

All political prisoners should be immediately freed and rehabilitated, the current policy of reprisals must be reviewed and free and honest parliamentary elections must be held in September, Ashton said after talks with Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov.

The European Union's signal issued to Belarus is clear, she said. There is no place for political prisoners in the heart of Europe, she added.

The EU had earlier criticized Belarus on many occasions for human rights abuses, and it imposed an entry ban on some Belarusian officials and froze Belarusian assets in protest.

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