The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission) is deeply concerned about the repressive campaign that has unfolded in Belarus following the December elections.
This is stated in a joint statement, the commission co-chairs, Senator Benjamin Cardin and Congressman Alcee Hastings.
"The situation in Belarus is deteriorating rapidly and requires a strong response from the United States, European Union and other parties (…) The repressive campaign in Minsk be discontinued, since the immediate release of detained journalists and opposition activists "- quoted the press service Cardin Helsinki Commission.
"In December, President Lukashenko at the summit in Astana confirmed that Belarus will adhere to the principles of the OSCE, but after a few weeks of his regime launched a full-scale attack on the free press, and civil society — said in turn Hastings. — Now for Lukashenko's time to rein in the KGB and the police, to release prisoners, to stop the repression of the independent media and democratic activists and cooperating with the OSCE. "
Helsinki Commission Co-Chairs noted that the U.S. and the EU is planning to introduce against Belarus stricter sanctions in response to the continued repression.
Cardin led a delegation of the Congress and the Senate of the United States during a visit to Belarus in 2009, and Alcee Hastings personally acquainted with some of the prisoners Belarusian activists, BelaPAN.