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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. University Professor Is Expelled From Belarus

For MTTerry Boesch
MINSK -- Belarussian authorities have expelled a U.S. university professor who had been living in the country for two years.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Vanshina said Terry Boesch had been refused permission to extend his stay, without giving any further details.

Boesch said he was in Lithuania.

Boesch, who had been teaching international law and business at Belarus State University since 2003, was ordered to leave the country in less than 24 hours on Friday with his two young daughters, he said in a statement posted on the web site of human rights organization Charter '97.

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, dubbed "Europe's last dictator" by the United States, has accused Western countries of seeking to unseat him in the 2006 presidential election.

Boesch, 40, said that he had avoided getting involved in politics at any level, had met none of the Belarussian opposition leaders and had even avoided contact with the U.S. Embassy.

Boesch said he had donated more than 40,000 books and textbooks from the United States to schools and libraries and organized educational exchanges and a major conference in Minsk. "The irony is that I have tried to do all that I can to help the government of Belarus to help the people of Belarus. ... But I am convinced now the situation is hopeless for the Belarussian government," he said.

Boesch, who practiced law in the United States for 13 years, said he had fled to Lithuania. The U.S. Embassy in Minsk declined to comment.