Belarusian Organization: We Welcome All Belarusians, Including Alexander Lukashenko's Children

Apr 03, 2013, 06:05 ET from Belarusians in Exile

NEW YORK, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Human rights organization "Belarusians in Exile" formed by Belarusian nationals forced out of the country because of systematic violations of human rights issued a statement in response to numerous media requests regarding alleged support of the organization by President Alexander Lukashenko's son Viktor.

"'Belarusians in Exile' is happy to welcome any new members who support restoring democratic institutions in Belarus. If Viktor Lukashenko, who is now a top Belarusian foreign ministry official, supports our causes, then we'll be happy to see him join the organization," said Ilya Lushnikov, BiE representative.

"Speculations about a power struggle within the family of Alexander Lukashenko have been around for a long time. They intensified since the President's infamous visit to Venezuela in 2012, when he stated that his youngest son Kolya would probably take over power in some 25 years. These speculations and concerns are logical, taking into account the fact that Belarus is a dictatorship, and the transfer of power issue is acute in a country where the democratic system is not working. As to the rumors that Victor Lukashenko supports Belarusians in Exile, we would be happy for any support from any Belarusians or people who are against the dictatorship. The more members we have, the better," added Lushnikov.

Belarusians in Exile had recently called on the U.S. Department of the Treasury to expand sanctions against the Lukashenko regime and ban trade with State-owned companies that sell oil and potash to the U.S. and the E.U. and generate over 50% of Belarusian GDP that is being directed to repression of human rights in the country.

SOURCE Belarusians in Exile