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U.S. Criticizes Belarus On Rights Issues

Washington, 23 July 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. State Department has said the United States is deeply concerned about what it calls the ongoing repression of civil society in Belarus.

Spokesman Richard Boucher said in a written statement today that the U.S. government is particularly concerned about the Belarusian government’s current assault on academic freedom and the right of assembly.

On 21 July, the Belarusian government informed the European Humanities University that it will terminate the lease on the building housing most of its academic programs and facilities.

Boucher said this step, along with Belarusian Government attempts to force the university’s rector, Anatoly Mikhailov, to resign, will require the university to suspend its operations.