April 12, 2024

Press Freedom


Belarus March 7, 2006

H.E. Aleksandr G. Lukashenko
Administration of the President
Minsk 220030 K Marx Street, 38
Republic of Belarus
Fax: (011.375.17.2) 26-10-06

Your Excellency:

Members of the Overseas Press Club of America, which has been defending press freedom around the world for more than 65 years, are deeply disturbed by the recent incident in Minsk, prior to the presidential election, in which an opposition candidate was detained and roughly treated by police, and several journalists trying to cover the incident were beaten by the police.

We join the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and other international journalism organizations in condemning this assault on democracy and on freedom of the press. It is a sad commentary on the condition of democracy in Belarus that Presidential candidate Alexandr V. Kazulin was attacked by plainclothes policemen while trying to enter a building to hear you speak. According to news reports, Mr. Kazulin suffered facial bruises and a broken lip as a result of the police beating. News reporters were detained inside the meeting hall, apparently to prevent them from witnessing the beating of Mr Kozulin. A news photographer at the scene reportedly was beaten and hospitalized.      

Frankly, we do not understand how your government can tolerate such assaults on human rights, particularly in the midst of an election campaign in which you are invoking the methods of democracy to seek another term in office. We would be very interested to receive an explanation of what seems to us to be a serious violation of the underlying precepts of democratic government.

Respectfully yours,
George Bookman
Larry Martz
Freedom of the Press Committee



Mikhail Khvostov

Ambassador of Belarus to the U.S.A.

Embassy of the Republic of Belarus

1619 New Hampshire Avenue, NW

Washington , DC   20009

Fax: (202) 986-1805



Ambassador Andrei Dapkiunas

Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Belarus
to the United Nations
136  East 67th Street
New York , NY   10021
Fax: (212) 734-4810



George A. Krol

U.S. Ambassador to Belarus

Embassy of the United States of America

46, Starovilenskaya Street

Minsk 220002


Fax: (011.375.17) 234-7853



Mr. Victor Cole

International League for Human Rights

823 United Nations Plaza

New York , NY   10017

Fax: (212) 661-0416