Statement of the United States Embassy in Minsk on the Prevention of Freedom Day Demonstrations

The United States notes with deep concern that authorities in Belarus failed
to allow peaceful demonstrations in Minsk for the annual “Freedom Day”
commemoration. The authorities’ large-scale detention of peaceful protesters,
human rights observers and journalists infringes upon basic democratic values.
There have been reports of use of force by the security services against
those detained and others.

We understand that a number of those detained have been released. The United
States will continue to closely monitor this situation and calls on the
government of Belarus to immediately release all remaining peaceful
protesters, human rights advocates, and journalists, to guarantee the rights
of citizens to peaceful assembly and free speech, and to uphold its
international commitments.