The National Endowment for Democracy, the Center for European Policy Analysis, and the Atlantic Council sponsored this event:
Ales Michalevich, pro-democracy activist and former Belarusian presidential candidate
Opening remarks were given by:
Peter Doran, Center for European Policy Analysis
Rodger Potocki, National Endowment for Democracy
About the Event
CEPA, the National Endowment for Democracy and the Atlantic Council co-hosted a lunch briefing with Ales Michalevich, pro-democracy activist and former Belarusian presidential candidate, to discuss the current political environment in his country and next steps in the Western policy approach toward Minsk.
About the Speaker
A long-time civic and political activist, Ales Michalevich was one of nine opposition candidates to run in Belarus’ presidential election of December 19, 2010. As tens of thousands of Belarusians took to the streets to protest the flawed election, the regime in “Europe’s last dictatorship” violently suppressed the demonstration and arrested over 600 participants, including Mr. Michalevich and six other presidential candidates. Released after two months of imprisonment, he denounced the conditions of his detention and went public about the acts of torture and abuse which he and others had suffered. In danger of being arrested again, Mr. Michalevich left Belarus and received political asylum in the Czech Republic. Since his release, he has worked to shed light on the human rights abuses that have continued during the unprecedented crackdown since the December election and campaigned for the release of all political prisoners in Belarus. Mr. Michalevich’s visit to Washington DC is part of a larger trip to receive Rights and Democracy’s 20th John Humphrey Award in Ottawa.