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Supporters Out for Democracy and Human Rights in Belarus

JBANC PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
January 17, 2006
contact: Karl Altau (tel. 301-340-1954)

Washington, DC (JBANC) --- Supporters of democracy in Belarus were out on January 16 in locations across Europe and North America giving freedom in that country a fighting chance.

In Washington DC, the Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) supported a demonstration of about 50 protesters in front of the Belarusan embassy, demanding that missing persons and political prisoners be accounted for by that government. The action was also intended to draw more attention to the increasingly authoritarian regime of President Aleksandr Lukashenko, who is seeking what is largely agreed to be an illegal re-election bid on March 19.

Some activists came from as far as New York for the protest. Students who helped in organizing the action in Washington are associated with the civic and democracy-building organizations Vzglyad and Students for Global Democracy.

In Minsk, the capital of Belarus, hundreds of demonstrators held a "jeans flash mob" the same day, in solidarity for victims of the regime since September 16, 1999. Ribbons of denim were placed strategically throughout Minsk and other Belarusan centers. Lighted candles in windows have also marked silent observation of the cause in Belarus.

More information about these and related events are available at the following websites:
http://www.solidarity16.org/eng/ (Zubr)
http://www.charter97.org/eng/news/ (Charter 97)
http://www.belreview.cz/ (Belarusian Review)

The next demonstrations are being planned for Thursday, February 16.

JBANC represents the Estonian American National Council, Inc., the American Latvian Association, Inc. and the Lithuanian American Council, Inc. ---


Octobr 17, 2008 - President Bush Discusses the Visa Waiver Program
Office of the Press Secretary/ White House News

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Please be seated, thank you. Welcome to the White House. I'm pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea -- that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program. Soon the citizens of these nations will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa. I congratulate these close friends and allies on this achievement, and I thank you for joining us here.

I also thank Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of the Homeland -- Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff for working hard to make sure this day has finally arrived. Appreciate other members of the administration here and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

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The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc.
400 Hurley Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850-3121
tel. 301-340-1954
fax: 301-309-1406
e-mail:jbanc@jbanc.org