234 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6460
Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
Media Contact: Lale Mamaux
December 4, 2007


Speakers Are Members of the Opposition United Democratic Forces

(Washington, DC) Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), will hold a briefing with leading Belarusian democracy and human rights activists of the opposition Unified Democratic Forces (UDF) on Tuesday, December 4 at 2:00 p.m. in room 1539 of the Longworth House Office Building.

The briefing entitled, “The Future Belarus: Democracy or Dictatorship?” will focus on the prospects for change in a country that is widely considered to have Europe’s worst record with respect to human rights and democracy.

Speakers will include:

Mr. Aleksandr Milinkevich – Leader of the Belarusian “For Freedom” movement; candidate of the leading opposition parties in the March 2006 presidential elections; awarded the 2006 Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament.

Mr. Anatoly Lebedka – Chair of the opposition United Civic Party and Co-chair of the United Democratic Forces (UDF).

Ms. Elena Bronitskaya – A 26-year-old human rights, civil society activist imprisoned for six months in 2006 for her work as co-leader of the elections monitoring non-governmental organization “Partnership.”

In addition, other members of the United Democratic Forces delegation will participate in the question and answer session of the briefing. The additional panelists will include Mr. Pavel Severinets, founding member of the youth organization “Malady Front” and former political prisoner; Mr. Sergei Kalyakin, chairman of the pro-democratic Belarusian Party of Communists and Co-Chair of UDF; Mr. Anatoly Levkovich, acting chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party “Hramada” and Co-Chair of UDF; and Mr. Dmitriy Fedaruk, 17-year-old acting chair of “Malady Front.”

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.




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