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Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
April 19, 1999


(Washington, DC)—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe today announce the forthcoming hearing:

Belarus—Back in the USSR?
Tuesday, April 27
10 a.m.—12:00 noon
340 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC
Open to Members, Staff, the Public and Press

The political and economic situation in Belarus remains dire under President Lukashenka's authoritarian rule. Repression of human rights and his assault on democratic institutions are the subject of continuing concern.

The hearing will provide a timely opportunity to review the current situation in Belarus in advance of the May 16 presidential elections called by the democratic opposition.

Lukashenka has rejected calls for an election and is attempting to neutralize democratic opposition to his rule.

Scheduled witnesses include:

Ross Wilson, Principal Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large and Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for the New Independent States Ambassador Hans-Georg Wieck, Head of OSCE Advisory and Monitoring Group in Belarus
Ambassador Andrei Sannikov, former Deputy Foreign Minister of Belarus and Coordinator of Charter 97
Catherine Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, International League for Human Rights
Rachel Denber, Deputy Director, Europe Division, Human Rights Watch

Media Contact: Chadwick R. Gore
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