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  • U.S. Embassy Statement

    In Belarus and around the world, Unit­ed States diplo­mats — like diplo­mats from oth­er coun­tries — reg­u­lar­ly attend local court pro­ceed­ings, observe protests and demon­stra­tions, and meet with mem­bers of oppo­si­tion polit­i­cal par­ties and human rights defend­ers.  Unit­ed States diplo­mats do this espe­cial­ly in cas­es that touch on media free­dom, oth­er fun­da­men­tal free­doms and the rule of law, all of which are, and have long been, of great impor­tance.  Belaru­sian diplo­mats in the Unit­ed States are wel­come to do the same; after all, there are polit­i­cal par­ty rep­re­sen­ta­tives, tri­als, protests and human rights defend­ers in Amer­i­ca as well.  Diplo­mat­ic obser­va­tion of local con­di­tions and events is an accept­ed prac­tice around the world.

    The behav­ior toward a U.S. diplo­mat by one of Belarus’s state media out­lets fol­low­ing his obser­va­tion of a crim­i­nal tri­al in Min­sk against Bel­sat jour­nal­ists Kat­siary­na Andreye­va (Bakhvala­va) and Daria Chultso­va on Feb­ru­ary 9 was unac­cept­able.  The U.S. Embassy in Min­sk stands ready to respond to press queries as they arise.  The Bel­sat jour­nal­ists have been accused of “orga­niz­ing events seri­ous­ly under­min­ing pub­lic order,” charges which the Unit­ed States, part­ner coun­tries, and human rights orga­ni­za­tions around the world have decried as out­ra­geous.

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