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Belarusian authorities expel the US citizen and his family

2005 2005-07-19T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

In the evening of 15 July Prof. Terry Besh was called to the International Relations Department of the Belarusian State University, where they informed him of the authorities' demand that he and his two daughters, 10 and 13, leave the territory of Belarus within two hours, reported the Charter-97 press service. Mr. Besh telephoned the US Embassy. The US diplomats got in touch with the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and asked if Terry Besh and his family could have several days to pack up. The Belarusian side agreed that Terry Besh and his daughters leave Belarus on 19 July after the representatives of the nationality and migration department returned to the professor his passport.

The International Relations Department of Belarusian State University does not know the reason why Terry Besh is prohibited to stay on the territory of Belarus. The head of the press department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Maria Vanshyna only said that the competent agencies refused to the US citizen Besh further stay in Belarus. The US Embassy in Minsk has yet no official comment to make with respect to the deportaton of the US professor and his family. Below is what Terry Besh said in an interview with Radio Liberty: "They phoned me and said I had to leave the territory of the country. The Belarusian authorities annulled my visa and demanded that I leave the country the same day. But the Belarusian authorities have my documents, my passport. How can I leave? For two years I have involved in charity an education. I have been trying to help the Belarusian people".

The 40 year old Terry Besh, whose ancestors come from Poland and Germany, has worked in Belarus for two years. He not only taught international law in BSU but also organized charity events for the educational establishments in Belarus. He organized international student conferences, seminars, courses and so on. According to Mr. Besh, he was only involved with scholarly projects in Belarus. He never met the representatives of the Belarusian opposition, or had even relations with the representatives of the US Embassy. The state-owned Belarusian media often covered his activities.

According to Mr. Besh, before the presidential elections in 2006 Aliaxandr Lukashenka started the great purging aimed at the representatives of the West. "The situation of the Belarusian authorities is hopeless. There is no coming back. Before he again takes part in the 2006 presidential elections, President Lukashenka started large-scale purging aimed against the West representatives", says he in his letter sent to the Charter-97 press center. The US professor believes that his case is similar to the closure of the European Humanities University, the deportation of the British professor Alan Flowers from Belarus, and also the recent detention of US students near Stouptsy, where they gave lessons of English in a summer camp.

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