Helsinki Commission News
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE)
For Immediate Release www.csce.gov
Media Contact: Lale Mamaux
December 12, 2007
(Washington, DC) Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of
the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki
Commission) issued the following statement in response to news reports that
one of the Young Front leaders, 19-year-old Zmitser Fedaruk was beaten by
riot police during an otherwise peaceful demonstration in Belarus.
According to witnesses, Fedaruk was beaten and knocked unconscious by riot
policemen, then rushed by ambulance to the hospital.
“The merciless beating of Mr. Fedaruk is both outrageous and tragic. Just
last week, he was here in Washington appearing before the Helsinki
Commission, where he spoke of the dangers young human rights activists face
in Belarus. I not only stand behind Mr. Fedaruk’s fight for freedom, but I
condemn in the strongest possible terms these acts of violence against
innocent individuals. Belarus’ dismal track record with respect for human
rights and democracy is no secret. Unfortunately, the intimidation and
abuse by Alexander Lukashenka’s regime does not seem to be coming to an end
any time soon. My colleagues and I on the Helsinki Commission are
determined to stand by young Mr. Fedaruk and all those in Belarus – young
and old – struggling for freedom, democracy and respect for human rights.”
On December 4, Fedaruk testified before the Helsinki Commission at a
briefing entitled, “The Future Belarus: Democracy or Dictatorship?” that
focused on the prospects for change in a country that is widely considered
to have Europe’s worst record with respect to human rights and democracy.
During the briefing, Fedaruk commented, “We want to present a new
generation of Belarusian youth which will join the Front, young people who
believe in God and love their country, because such features were very
usual for the people who also founded your country. So we have a good
example before our eyes.” (A full transcript of the briefing can be found
on the Commission’s website at http://www.csce.gov/).
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the
Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in
the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The
Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine
from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments
of State, Defense and Commerce.
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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