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08.12.2006

Mass hunger strike in Belarus in support of Aleksandr Kazulin

   

On 8 December 500 people declared a hunger strike to express their support for imprisoned ex-presidential candidate Aleksandr Kazulin who has been on indefinite hunger strike now for 50 days,

According to Radio Svoboda’s correspondent in Minsk Igor Karnei, the organizers of the mass solidarity action say that most of those taking part are members of the Belarusian Social Democrat Party which is led by Aleksandr Kazulin, however the headquarters of the united democratic forces have also joined the hunger strike. Messages of solidarity with Kazulin have been received from ordinary members of the public in Belarus, including many businesspeople.

One of the coordinators of the action, Ales Streltsov explains that the initiative to organize the mass hunger strike came from the grassroots, with the leaders of the party not taking any decisions in the matter. “This is a symbolic hunger strike. Kazulin must not die. Belarus needs its Vaclav Havel and we have such a leader with unquestioned moral authority.”

Irina Kazulina has refuted reports in a number of media sources that her husband might today end his hunger strike.

On Friday, 8 December, according to an official from her office, a press conference was anticipated with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbor where she was expected to make a special statement regarding the situation with Aleksandr Kazulin.

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