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European Parliament Chief Deplores Belarus Situation

Martin Schultz also urged the Belarusian authorities to free opposition activist Syarhey Kavalenka.
STRASBOURG, France -- European Parliament President Martin Schulz has said he is "appalled by the deteriorating situation in Belarus regarding human rights and political freedoms."

Schulz, in a statement released on February 14, also said that jailed opposition activist Syarhey Kavalenka's hunger strike "highlights violations of democratic principles and disrespect for the rule of law."

Kavalenka, 37, was detained on December 19 and charged with violating his parole conditions. He has been on hunger strike for almost two months.

Schulz urged the Belarusian authorities to release him "immediately and unconditionally." He also called for the release of all political prisoners.

Schulz reiterated an appeal to President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to pardon Uladzislau Kavalyou and Dzmitry Kanavalau, who were condemned to death for carrying out a bombing in the Minsk subway in April 2011 that killed 15 people and wounded about 200.
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