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U.S. Helsinki Commission to Hold Hearing on Belarus

WASHINGTON —The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) announced today the following hearing:

Belarus: The Ongoing Crackdown and Forces for Change

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

10:30 am

Room 210 Cannon House Office Building

Nearly one year after the brutal post-December 19, 2010, election crackdown, the human rights picture in Belarus remains bleak. Brave and committed individuals who attempt to promote a democratic future for Belarus continue to be crushed by the dictatorial Lukashenka regime. Civil society continues to be under assault, with NGOs facing ever greater constraints, and freedoms of assembly and expression are severely curtailed. Yet the ongoing economic turmoil has produced growing disaffection, as manifested in Lukashenka’s plummeting popular support, and a changing domestic and international environment.

The hearing will focus on the extent and impact of the crackdown on the lives of its victims and on the larger society, and what more can be done by the U.S. and our European partners to promote democratic change in Belarus.

The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:

Ales Mikhalevich, Prominent Belarusian pro-democracy activist and former presidential candidate arrested and tortured in the post-December 2010 election crackdown

Rodger Potocki, Senior Director Europe, National Endowment for Democracy

Susan Corke, Director for Eurasia, Freedom House

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