Paroubek condemns police clampdown on opposition in Minsk

Prague, March 26 (CTK) - Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek yesterday condemned Belarussian police repeated actions against the public rallies held since Monday against the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko as president in Minsk.

"The brutal violence against demonstrators proves that Lukashenko's regime is afraid of democracy and tolerance, afraid of elementary signs of civic society," Paroubek writes in the statement passed to CTK.

The events in Minsk are confirming that the successful Czech effort to place criticism of presidential elections in Belarus in the conclusion of the European Council was rightful, Paroubek writes.

Paroubek writes that this has underlined the importance of his proposal that Belarussian students who have been expelled from schools because they were involved in the demonstration may complete their studies in the Czech Republic.

The Foreign Ministry is considering providing concrete aid to the victims of police violence in Minsk, he adds.

There are various forms of cooperation, Foreign Ministry spokesman Vit Kolar said.

There are about 25 projects devised to help the victims of the Belarussian regime, from scholarships to the printing of brochures, Kolar said.

If there is general will, they can be intensified, Kolar said.

Belarussian authorities have arrested hundreds of opponents of Lukashenko's regime following the presidential elections called rigged by the opposition.