Standing up for Free and Fair Elections in Belarus

September 25, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“Canada is disappointed, but not surprised, by the flawed results of the recent elections in Belarus. In the lead-up to and during the vote, the Belarusian authorities limited political, civil and media freedoms, including persecuting opposition leaders, harassing journalists and suppressing peaceful protests in the country.

“The Government of Canada has repeatedly called on the Belarusian authorities to uphold democratic principles, respect for human rights and the rule of law. The Belarusian people have the fundamental right to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly.

“We will again be reviewing our dealings with Belarus and the ways we can support the democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people.

“Canada remains a vigorous defender of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Belarus and will continue to work with other like-minded countries and international organizations to ensure that the people of Belarus can exercise these fundamental rights.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI