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US denounces detention of Belarus opposition leader Kozulin, demands he be set free

US denounces detention of Belarus opposition leader Kozulin, demands he be set free

The United States called Belarus' refusal to release a hunger-striking prisoner incomprehensible and repeated on Monday a demand that Alexander Kozulin be set free.
Kozulin, a candidate for president of the former Soviet republic in 2006, was arrested during an opposition protest of the alleged rigging of his electoral challenge to President Alexander Lukashenko. Kozulin He was convicted of organizing mass protests and was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in a high-security prison.
"The United States deplores the Belarusian regime's incomprehensible refusal to release political prisoner" Kozulin "during the days leading up to and following the death of his wife, Irina Kozulina, on Feb. 23. We reiterate our call for Mr. Kozulin's immediate release," said a statement issued by the office of White House press secretary Dana Perino.
The statement called the March 2006 elections "undemocratic and fraudulent." It also decried Kozulin's inability because of his detention to join other Belarusian opposition leaders in a White House visit with President George W. Bush last December.
The regime imprisoned Mr. Kozulin, a former democratic presidential candidate, during protests against the Belarusian presidential elections in March 2006. Due to his unjust imprisonment, Mr. Kozulin was also unable to join the other leaders of the unified democratic opposition of Belarus when they met with President Bush in the Oval Office on December 6, 2007.
It said Bush extended condolences to Kozulin and the Kozulins' daughters, Olga and Yuliya. The daughters and three other supporters joined Kozulin's hunger strike on Monday.


Updated : 2021-07-31 14:38 GMT+08:00