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Belarus Opposition Figures To Seek Political Asylum

  • Kevin Foley



Washington, July 30 (RFE/RL) -- A U.S. Congressman says he is helping two Belarusian opposition leaders to seek political asylum in the United States.

Congressman Martin Hoke (R-Ohio) said today he will help Zynon Paznyak, chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front chairman, and Syarhei Naumchyk, Popular Front spokesman. The pair has been living in exile since Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka issued warrants for their arrest in March.

A spokesman for the congressman told RFE/RL that Hoke decided to help the opposition leaders after he met them at his office in the city of Cleveland, home to a number of Belarusian Americans. Hoke also has a "strong interest" in developments in eastern Europe.

The opposition leaders are making an application for asylum today at the U.S. Justice Department and a staff member from Hoke's office has been assigned to help them, the spokesman said.

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