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Belarus: pre-election passions simmer

March 3 2006

U.S. condemns "the beating and arrest of the head of the Belarusian opposition Alexander Kozulin, a candidate for president" and criticized the arrest of 60 opposition activists in Minsk, "said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary David Kramer.

Kramer said that the situation in Belarus will be discussed at his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, to be held in Washington next week, reports AP.

Recall leader of the Belarusian Party Gramada Alexander Kozulin - one of three opponents of Lukashenka in future elections, on the eve tried to enter the building, which hosted the All-Belarusian People's Assembly, but was detained by police and taken to the police station. A few hours later he was released, arousing against him in a criminal case under "hooliganism" for the fact that he broke into the police department of a portrait of Lukashenko. The penalty for this article provided in the form of detention for 15 days.

In turn, the rival Kozulin in the elections, "one presidential candidate in Belarus, the opposition," Milinkevich said that he considered the detention of Kozulin "boorish attitude and disrespect for law, human rights and human dignity."

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