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Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 12, 2007


Belarus: Beating of Demonstrators

We condemn the use of brutal force against demonstrators today in Minsk, in particular the severe beating of Young Front leader Dmitry Fedaruk, who appears to have been specifically targeted. He has been hospitalized with serious injuries. This incident is another in a long series of repressive acts by the Belarusian authorities against their own citizens.

We express our deep concern for all of the individuals who were injured, arrested and jailed in recent days during peaceful protests, including Anatoliy Lebedko. We call upon the authorities to provide Fedaruk and any others in need complete medical care. Both Fedaruk and Lebedko were among a delegation of seven Belarus pro-democracy activists who met with President Bush and Secretary Rice last week in Washington.

We again call on the Belarusian authorities to refrain from the use of force against their own people, and to allow the exercise of fundamental rights, including free speech and assembly.

2007/1132


Released on December 12, 2007

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