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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 25, 2008

Statement by the Press Secretary

Call for Release of Belarusian Political Prisoner Aleksandr Kozulin

The United States deplores the Belarusian regime's incomprehensible refusal to release political prisoner Aleksandr Kozulin during the days leading up to and following the death of his wife, Irina Kozulina, on February 23. We reiterate our call for Mr. Kozulin's immediate and unconditional release.

The regime imprisoned Mr. Kozulin, a former democratic presidential candidate, during protests against the undemocratic and fraudulent Belarusian presidential elections in March 2006. Due to his unjust imprisonment, Mr. Kozulin was also unable to join the other leaders of the unified democratic opposition of Belarus when they met with President Bush in the Oval Office on December 6, 2007.

President Bush extends his condolences to Aleksandr Kozulin and to the Kozulins' daughters, Olga and Yuliya, on the death of their wife and mother. Irina Kozulina was an indomitable advocate in her own right for freedom in Belarus and she will be missed.

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