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Senator Kerry Introduces Bill To Encourage Democratization In Belarus

Washington, DC – After introducing legislation to extend and reauthorize the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) issued the following statement:

“Over a hundred days have passed since Alexander Lukashenko staged a fraudulent election, arrested candidates who dared to stand against him, and suppressed Belarusians’ access to free press and information.  While international media attention has moved on to events elsewhere, we have not forgotten the people of Belarus -- nor will we.  Many heroic individuals still languish in prison without access to their families or legal counsel.  Through the reauthorization of assistance to Belarusian civil society, the United States is doing what we can to encourage the free exchange of ideas and alternative leaders in Belarus.  Belarusians have the same right to self-government and free expression as their neighbors.  Europe’s last dictatorship should not be allow to stand unchallenged.”