09.29.2005, 03:59 PM

EU condemns Belarus govt's conduct, especially efforts to crush opponents

STRASBOURG, France (AFX) - The European Union strongly condemned the Belarus government's conduct on Thursday, in particular its attempts to crush all opponents to the hardline regime of Alexander Lukashenko.

In a resolution, the deputies denounced the regime's maltreatment of prisoners and what it said was the increasing number of arbitrary arrests being carried out by security forces.

The government was also blamed for a series of incidents in which opponents were persecuted or disappeared.

Other issues condemned by the parliament included Belarus's relentless persecution of Polish militants, the marginalisation of the Roms or gypsy minority, the ban on the evangelical church and attacks against media and the opposition.

On Sept 16, the EU's Council of Ministers condemned Belarus's 'persecution' and 'intimidation' of independent journalists and civilian militants.