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U.S. Calls On Belarus To Release Political Prisoners

WASHINGTON -- The United States is calling on Belarus to release all of its “political prisoners” ahead of the fourth anniversary of a crackdown that resulted in the jailing of hundreds of opposition activists.

“We remember those who remain wrongly imprisoned and call for the immediate and unconditional release of all Belarusian political prisoners,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a December 18 statement.

The statement came on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the arrest of hundreds of protesters in Belarus after a disputed presidential ballot that saw authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka reelected.

A U.S.-Belarus joint statement in December 2010 “acknowledges that enhanced respect for democracy and human rights remains essential to the progress of Belarus and its citizens, and is central to improving bilateral relations,” Psaki added.

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