July 1998                                                                                                                                                    Vol. 10 No. 5 (D)



It may sound a little immodest, but I have enough brains to rule a state in a sound way, without resorting to a stick or fist. Belarus is in the very center of Europe, it is surrounded by democratic states, and believe me, it is not the kind of state which can be ruled by authoritarian means.
President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenka
Russian NTV television, Moscow, cited in World News Connection (WNC) April 28, 1998.


1 These letters include: in August, protesting the arrest of Pavel Sheremet and a second ORT crew; in October, protesting the assault and threatening of Belarusian Helsinki Committee member, Nadezhda Zhukova; in November, protesting the closure of Svaboda newspaper; in December, protesting the trial for contempt of court of independent lawyer, Nadezhda Dudareva; in December, protesting the detention of Alexei Shidlovsky and Vadim Labkovich; in January, protesting the beating of film director Yury Khashchevatsky; and in March, protesting the sentencing of Alexei Shidlovsky and Vadim Labkovich.

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