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Public Statements

Shining Light on the Human Rights Situation in Belarus

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. PAULSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to give voice to a concern that I have heard raised from numerous constituents who originally hail from Belarus. Since 1994, President Lukashenko has abused his power and has actively worked to undermine the freedom of the Belarusian people.

Recently, the State Department released a report on the human rights situation in Belarus. Under this authoritarian regime, Belarusians have been subject to manipulated elections and oppression on the basis of political affiliation, ethnicity, and religious beliefs. Following the most recent election, security forces arrested political activists, presidential candidates, and journalists.

Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable that this kind of oppression exists today in Europe, and I hope that more Americans will be made aware of the tyranny in Belarus. I thank the Belarusian-American Youth Association for bringing this issue to my attention. And I stand with my constituents in support of freedom for the Belarusian people in opposition to this oppressive regime.

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