The Belarusian Party of Freedom and Progress held its founding conference in Mahilyow a few days ago. Its application to register as political party has been turned down three times by the Justice Ministry, and they are now intending to do their fourth attempt.

I am impressed by those brave liberals, fighting for democracy and freedom in a state where political opposition is systematically oppressed. I hear from fellow Swedish liberals who joined the conference that only holding the conference was hard enough. All applications for venues in Minsk were rejected, and the delegates were stopped twice by the police on their way to Mahilyow. They are now hoping to overcome the regulations for forming a political party, doing their fourth attempt since 2004.

I wish to congratulate Mr Uladzimir Navasyad, who was elected to chair the party, and all the other brave members of the Party of Freedom and Progress. Below, you will find a greeting I sent to the conference.