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20.12.2013

USA: We stand with people of Belarus  ? 46

8:39, — Politics

USA: We stand with people of Belarus

Washington urges to release and rehabilitate Belarusian political prisoners immediately.

It is said in a statement by representative of the US Department of State Marie Harf on the anniversary of the crackdown on protests against the rigged 2010 presidential elections.

Three years after the Belarusian Government launched its brutal crackdown on civil society, the democratic opposition, and independent media, we remember the political prisoners who remain in detention and reiterate our call for their immediate and unconditional release and the restoration of their political rights. We note the December 1, 2010 joint statement between our two countries, which affirmed that enhanced respect for democracy and human rights remains central to improving bilateral relations, and is essential to the progress of Belarus and its citizens.

As we mark the third anniversary of the events of December 19, 2010, we stand with the people of Belarus and reaffirm our readiness to help them build a democratic, prosperous, and truly independent European state, the statement says.

The presidential elections were held in Belarus on December 19, 2010. After polling stations closed, tens of thousands of Belarusians gathered for a rally against the rigged results of the presidential elections. It was the biggest protest rally in Belarus for the last few years. Peaceful protests were brutally suppressed by the police and troops.

Arrests and interrogations of activists lasted for several months. More than 700 people were thrown behind bars, scores of beaten people were taken to hospitals. Criminal cases were opened against 46 leaders and activists of the opposition, including presidential candidates. Many of them received prison terms of from two to six years. Thousands of Belarusians had to flee the country fearing criminal prosecution.

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