U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released online from January 1, 1997 to January 20, 2001. Please see www.state.gov for current material from the Department of State. Or visit http://2001-2009.state.gov for information from that period. Archive sites are not updated, so external links may no longer function. Contact us with any questions about finding information. NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.
U.S. Department of State

Great Seal

U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement


flag  bar

Press Statement by James P. Rubin, Spokesman
March 21, 2000

Belarus: U.S. Condemns Sentencing of Andrei Klimov

The U.S. condemns the conviction and sentencing on politically motivated charges of Andrei Klimov, a member of the Belarusian 13th Supreme Soviet and a prominent leader of the opposition to the Lukashenko regime's rule in Belarus. The regime's treatment of Mr. Klimov was from the beginning a travesty of justice. He was arrested in February 1998 and held for seventeen months without trial. He was brutally beaten by prison guards on December 12. Only after the intervention of the OSCE Advisory and Monitoring Group and U.S. Ambassador Speckhard was Mr. Klimov allowed to receive appropriate medical treatment.

This sentence, the continued show trial of former Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Chigir, and the government's ban on further opposition demonstrations demonstrate the authorities' continued rejection of dialogue and unwillingness to establish a climate for free and fair elections that the government plans to hold in the fall. We again call on the Belarusian authorities to take meaningful steps toward genuine dialogue with the democratic opposition and to demonstrate greater respect for fundamental human rights. It will be particularly important for the authorities to respect the people's right to freedom of assembly and ensure that opposition marches planned for this spring are not hindered. Only through such actions can Belarus resolve the current constitutional and political impasse and end its self-imposed international isolation.

[end of document]

flag  bar

Press Statements Index | Department of State | Secretary of State