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2007

Examining the Prospects for Democratic Change in Belarus

Member

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Hon. Alcee Hastings

Chairman

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Witnesses

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Mr. Aleksandr Milinkevich

Leader

Movement for Freedom

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Mr. Anatoly Lebedka

Chair

United Civic Party of Belarus

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Ms. Enira Bronitskaya

Human Rights Activist

The briefing focused on the prospects for change in Belarus, a country that is widely considered to have Europe’s worst record with respect to human rights and democracy.  The presence of the OSCE at the March 2006 Presidential elections was briefly mentioned, as were the fundamental flaws observed during these elections.

The witnesses testifying at this briefing evaluated the obstacles that pro-democratic activists face in Belarus. Violent and repressive tactics of the authorities were cited as major issues for good governance in the country. Several suggestions for improving the democratic quality of the government were proposed, including increasing activity through diplomatic channels.

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