UNITED STATES AND OSCE STRONGLY CRITICIZE ARRESTS IN BELARUS.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 45
In strongly worded statements, the U.S. State Department and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s chairman-in-office, Knut Vollebaek, have criticized the Belarusan government over the arrest of Viktar Hanchar and other members of the opposition’s electoral commission (see the Monitor, March 2). The statements take official note of the existence of a “constitutional dispute” in Belarus. They demand the release of those arrested, a stop to repression and observance of the government’s commitments under international human rights pacts. They urge the authorities to enter into a political dialogue with the opposition as the only viable path toward settling the constitutional conflict. The OSCE’s mission in Minsk, headed by German diplomat Hans-Georg Wieck, is mandated to mediate that dialogue–a potentially precedent-setting move to pressure an antidemocratic government in peacetime (International agencies, March 3-4).
LAZARENKO’S FACTION SPLITS.