Conviction of Belarusian Presidential Candidate Andrey Sannikau
The United States condemns the May 14 conviction of presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau and other democratic activists in Belarus. We consider the five presidential candidates -- Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu, Andrey Sannikau, Vital Rymasheuski, Mikalay Statkevich, and Dzmitry Us -- and other activists, who are being tried after being arrested as part of the crackdown related to the December 19 presidential elections, to be political prisoners; the harsh sentences handed down on May 14 and the ongoing trials are clearly politically motivated. Belarus should immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners and cease continuing human rights violations against critics of the government, who remain at risk of harassment and arbitrary arrest. The results of ongoing trials will be taken into account as the United States continues to review its relations with Belarus and consider further measures.