Sviatlana Zavadskaya spoke for US Congress 12:27, 10/02/2006
Sviatlana Zavadskaya, the wife of missed in 2000 operator of the Russian TV channel ORT Dzmitry Zavadski, and the leader of the civil initiative “We Remember”, made a speech in the US Congress. S.Zavadskaya drew the attention of the American decision-makers to the situation in Belarus before the Presidential election. She pointed to the complicated conditions of the election campaign that the democratic opposition is confronted with. “The State power endeavors to hinder the democratic forces activities: the opposition has no access to the state media, independent press is closed down, political and remedial activists are persecuted, the number of political prisoners is growing”, - S.Zavadskaya stated. She remarked that, judging by the present conditions of the election campaign, “the election will hardly be free and democratic”.
As S.Zavadskaya deems, one of the key reasons for this situation is “the information vacuum and absence of alternative information in the Republic”. The speaker pointed to the controversial issues in the criminal case on the murder of newspaper “Solidarnost’” journalist Vieranika Charkasava. Late December 2005, journalist’s 15-year old son Anton Filimonau was detained within the accusation of forging money. “The teenager is still kept in the investigation isolation ward, and the powers do not cease their attempts to close the case imposing the guilt on the child”, - S.Zavadskaya said.
S.Zavadskaya estimated positively “the animated attention for the Belarusian issue and the consolidated position maintained by the EU and US”. “It is vital that the support and aid rendered for the democratic forces do not stop on March 19, that a long-term democratization program for Belarus and its political structures is elaborated”, - S.Zavadskaya emphasized. As BelaPAN reports, the wife of D.Zavadskiy arrived in the USA on the invitation of the International Human Rights League. This week S.Zavadskaya has met with Senator John Maccein, visited the American office of the Helsinki Committee, International Republican Institute, National Security Council, the Committee on Foreign Relations of the USA Senate. Briefings for American journalists and interviews of S.Zavadskaya were held at the radio stations “Freedom” and “Voice of America”.