WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Chairman Bill Keating and Ranking Member Adam Kinzinger of the House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment issued the joint statement below on the August 9th Belarusian presidential election and violent crackdown on peaceful protestors and journalists following it.
“This past Sunday, August 9th, we watched with great concern as Belarus held a presidential election marred with electoral fraud from the onset. Since the election, peaceful protestors in Minsk and around the country have challenged the official results after independent exit polls suggested major inaccuracies. Unfortunately, protestors and journalists have been met with barricades, stun grenades, tear gas, rubber bullets, and now live ammunition from government forces. Just in the past four days, an estimated 7,000 protestors, activists, and journalists have been detained by the government and brutally beaten, and at least one person has lost their life.
“The voices of the Belarusian people must be heard, the crackdown on peaceful demonstrators must end, and all those who have been unjustly detained must be released. A transparent and accountable electoral process is critical for stability and we urge President Lukashenko to immediately pursue peaceful measures to ensure the integrity of the election according to international standards. We will continue to stand with the people of Belarus, and urge the US State Department, as well as our European allies who have announced they are considering targeted sanctions in response to this violence, to demonstrate that we share the values of the Belarusian people and that their rights, freedoms, and sovereignty are worthy of protection.”