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Sec. Rice Meets Belarus Human Rights Defenders

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC

Secretary Rice Meets With Belarus Human Rights Defenders

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met today with a delegation of Belarusian human rights and democracy defenders. She reiterated the support of the United States for the democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people and stressed that the United States will continue to speak out for the cause of freedom in Belarus.

The delegation consisted of individuals who are leading the fight to overcome the Lukashenka regime's denial of basic rights and pervasive repression, including the arbitrary use of state power to suppress independent media and prevention of free speech and assembly. The group discussed ways in which they can use their strength and unity to achieve a democratic Belarus.

The delegation included Aleksandr Milinkevich, the 2006 opposition presidential candidate of the Unified Democratic Forces and recipient of the 2006 Sakharov Prize for Human Rights; Sergey Kalyakin, Anatoliy Lebedko, and Anatoliy Levkovich, political party leaders and Co-Chairs of the Unified Democratic Forces; Pavel Severinets, Chairperson of Belarusian Christian Democracy, and former political prisoner; Enira Bronitskaya, a human rights advocate and former political prisoner; and Dmitry Fedaruk, Acting Chairperson of pro-democracy NGO, "Youth Front".

Released on December 3, 2007


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