Monday, March 27, 2006

Germany Moves To Invite Belarusian Democratic Opposition Leader Milinkevich To European Union Council Meeting In Luxembourg On April 10, 2006

BERLIN (Reuters) - "Germany on Sunday denounced the use of force against Belarussian protesters and said it wanted to invite the opposition candidate defeated by President Alexander Lukashenko to a European Union meeting.

"I condemn the unjustified use of force by the security services and the disproportionate behaviour of the Belarussian government towards many activists of the democracy movement," Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement.

The Belarussian opposition, which denounces Lukashenko's election win last week as fraudulent, held a mass rally on Saturday but police broke up a later march on a prison where other opposition activists were being held.

"I will move to invite the leader of the Belarussian opposition, Alexander Milinkevich, to the next meeting of the general council (of EU foreign ministers) in Luxembourg on April 10," Steinmeier said.

The minister also called for the release of Alexander Kozulin, a second opposition challenger in last week's poll detained during Saturday's altercations with police.

"The basic right to freedom of opinion and assembly must also apply in Belarus," Steinmeier said." ...

ReutersUK "Germany blasts Belarus, wants opposition at EU" March 26, 2006

On Saturday, March 25, 2006, the Belarusian police cracked down hard on members of the Belarusian democratic opposition to Alexander Lukashenka'a regime who were peacefully protesting the previous Sunday's rigged election.

Photo credit: via With thanks.


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