Secretary General condemns Belarusian sentencing

 Speaking to reporters on 19 July, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the arrest of Belarusian opposition leader Alexandr Kozulin was “a flagrant violation” of Belarus’ commitments to NATO.

Alexandr Kozulin, a key figure in the Belarusian opposition, has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison for his part in protests following the March 2006 Presidential election, in which he was a candidate.

“If you see for what Mr. Kozulin has been jailed in Belarus, it will not come as surprise to you if I say that this a violent, flagrant violation of the values on which the partnership with NATO is founded,” he told reporters.

“I can only be extremely critical of what has happened,” Mr. De Hoop Scheffer said.