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Belarus: Pazniak To Continue Opposition To Lukashenka In U.S.

Washington, 26 August 1996 (RFE/RL) - Belarus opposition leader Zianon Pazniak says he plans to continue his opposition to the government of Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenka while living in the United States.

In an RFE/RL interview, Pazniak said he will try to focus international attention on human rights violations in Belarus and mobilize Belarusians living abroad -- in Europe, Canada, the United States and elsewhere -- to join the struggle for democracy in his country.

"The authoritarian dictatorship of Aleksandr Lukashenka was not only a threat to my life and freedom, it is a threat to the entire people of Belarus," he said.

Pazniak and his press secretary, Siarhiej Naumchuk, were last week granted political asylum in the United States on the grounds that they would suffer persecution were they to return to Belarus. Pazniak considers his stay in America to be temporary.

"The regime of Lukashenka cannot last long, another year at the most, and as soon as it collapses, I will return home," he said.