Andrei Sannikov meets with Thomas Melia
16:03, — Politics
Andrei Sannikov, the leader of the civil campaign European Belarus, met today in Warsaw with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Melia.
Thomas Melia and Andrei Sannikov discussed the situation in Belarus, political prisoners, the US policy to support democracy in the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia.
”I thanked Thomas Melia for the attention the US government gives to the problem of human rights violations in Belarus and for his visit to Belarus in January 2011, during which he met with and expressed his support to families of political prisoners, democratic forces and human rights activists. His visit was held at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's request in very difficult for us times. It was great support for the people of Belarus. It was interesting to compare our impressions of those times: mine as a then prisoner and his as a representatives of the US administration.
Our opinions coincide to a great extent. I expressed my serious concern about the fact that the theme of torture of Belarusian political prisoners is raised more and more rarely and that real leverage on the Belarusian dictatorship is not used amid right statements by European officials. The stance of the United States is the most consistent and principled, but the US can have more influence on their partners in Europe. Especially, after president Obama supported the EU's efforts on fulfilling the Eastern Partnership programme,” Andrei Sannikov told charter97.org.