Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
January 6, 2011
Today Secretary Clinton met with Belarusian and Belarusian-American human rights activists including "We Remember" President Irina Krasovskaya and Belarus Free Theater co-founder Natalya Kolyada to discuss recent events in Belarus. The Secretary condemned the conduct of Belarus's presidential election and crackdown on political leaders and activists, civil society representatives and journalists. She stressed her concern for detainees and for their family members, noting the U.S. Embassy in Minsk's efforts to remain in close contact with them.
The United States and the European Union have issued two joint statements condemning the violence and calling for the immediate release of all who are detained. The Secretary repeated this appeal and also urged an end to repressive acts against the opposition, the media and civil society. The Secretary told the activists that we are watching the government's actions closely and considering our response to those actions. The United States will continue its support for and engagement with the people of Belarus.