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Chairman Risch: Belarusians Deserve a Fair Accounting of Presidential Election

BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement in response to the arrest of and violence against Belarusian protestors by military units and riot police after Alexander Lukashenka claimed to have won a landslide victory in Belarus’ presidential election over the weekend:

“Over the weekend, the people of Belarus attempted to participate in a democratic process, and expected their votes to be counted truthfully and their choice of leadership honored. That President Lukashenka has chosen to respond to his opposition and protestors with violence and repression is unconscionable. Mr. Lukashenka should allow a true accounting of yesterday’s ballot, and stand down if, as reports indicate, he was not democratically reelected. He should also immediately cease the suppression of the media, internet blackouts, and the arrests of and violence against those who are pursuing another path for Belarus. A peaceful transition of power is vital to the future of Belarus and its sovereignty.”