Media Contact: Shelly Han
WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) announced today the following hearing:
Belarus: The Ongoing Crackdown and Forces for Change
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Room 210 Cannon House Office Building
Nearly one year after the brutal post-December 19, 2010, election crackdown, the human rights picture in Belarus remains bleak. Brave and committed individuals who attempt to promote a democratic future for Belarus continue to be crushed by the dictatorial Lukashenka regime. Civil society continues to be under assault, with NGOs facing ever greater constraints, and freedoms of assembly and expression are severely curtailed. Yet the ongoing economic turmoil has produced growing disaffection, as manifested in Lukashenka’s plummeting popular support, and a changing domestic and international environment.
The hearing will focus on the extent and impact of the crackdown on the lives of its victims and on the larger society, and what more can be done by the U.S. and our European partners to promote democratic change in Belarus.
The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:
Ales Mikhalevich, Prominent Belarusian pro-democracy activist and former presidential candidate arrested and tortured in the post-December 2010 election crackdown
Rodger Potocki, Senior Director Europe, National Endowment for Democracy
Susan Corke, Director for Eurasia, Freedom House
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.