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Press Statement
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 11, 2007


Belarus European March

We welcome the initiative taken by the citizens of Belarus to organize a march on October 14 emphasizing their commitment to a free Belarus that respects the universal values of democracy and freedom.

The decision by Minsk city authorities to allow the march is encouraging. However, we are concerned about preemptive arrests and detentions of organizers of the event as well as other efforts by the Belarus authorities to minimize the impact of the march. We urge the Government of Belarus to allow all of its citizens to participate unimpeded in this peaceful demonstration and to express their views without harassment, interference, or threats of retribution. We also urge security forces to exercise restraint with demonstrators.

We reiterate our concern for the well being of all prisoners held on politically motivated charges and call for their immediate release.

2007/877


Released on October 11, 2007

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