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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2005 > December
Taken Question
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 8, 2005
Question Taken at December 8, 2005 Daily Press Briefing

Belarus: Parliament Passes Criminal Code Amendments (Taken Question)

QUESTION:   What is the State Department's reaction to the Belarus parliament passing legislation punishing "damaging" contacts with foreign states and organizations or "discrediting Belarus" in eyes of foreign governments and international organizations?

  • As we said in our statement on December 2, 2005, the U.S. joins the European Union in once again expressing concern about developments in Belarus. The provisions of the bill amending the penal code appear to violate international norms and many of Belarus’ human rights commitments, including the rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression. This bill seems clearly aimed at intimidating Belarusian citizens and stifling free speech as the country approaches presidential elections in 2006.
  • The U.S. calls on the Belarusian authorities to respect democratic values and the rule of law, so that the rights of Belarusian citizens are fully respected.

2005/1151


Released on December 8, 2005

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