Mark C. Toner, Deputy Spokesperson of the US Department of State, Daily press briefing

Turning to Belarus, we are deeply concerned about the arrest and detention of Ales Byalyatski, who is a prominent human rights activist and the head of the NGO Vyasno — Vyasna, rather, the human rights center, one of only two human rights organizations in Belarus. Independent nongovernmental organizations such as Vyasna play a critical role in any democratic society and Byalyatski’s – Ms. Byalyatski’s arrest represents another unfortunate sign of Belarus’s self-isolation and violation of international standards on democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

The United States calls on the Government of Belarus to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Byalyatski and the more than 40 political prisoners in Belarus today. Sorry, I believe I referred to him as Ms. I meant to say Mr.

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