The ambassadors of Latvia and Lithuania to Belarus, Maira Mora and Jonas Paslauskas, respectively, on April 25 visited imprisoned opposition politician Mikhail Marinich. Mr. Marinich, who resigned as Belarus` Riga-based ambassador to Latvia, Estonia, and Finland in the summer of 2001 to run against Aleksandr Lukashenko in that fall`s presidential race, is currently treated in a prison hospital in Minsk. He was transferred there from a correctional facility in Orsha on March 15, after he was reportedly diagnosed as having a transient ischemic attack.
As Mr. Paslauskas said at a news conference in the Belarusian capital, they learned that the 65-year-old Marinich was receiving the necessary medical aid in accordance with the diagnosis. According to the Latvian embassy, Ms. Mora told Mr. Marinich that people in Latvia "remember the former ambassador and are carefully following the developments in his criminal case and the condition of his health during his imprisonment." She reportedly said that while in the position of ambassador, Mr. Marinich contributed to the development of friendly relations between Belarus and Latvia and actively promoted an open dialogue between the governments and people in the two countries.
The ambassadors informed Mr. Marinich that the Danish European Movement had declared him "Person of the Year."
For his turn, Mr. Marinich thanked the diplomats for their visit and care and asked them to convey his gratitude to "all colleagues who felt concerned for him and expressed sympathy and solidarity."
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
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Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
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We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
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