Belarusians Give Bell Hell

In an open letter to British public relations executive Lord Timothy Bell, two directors of the Belarus Free Theatre accuse Bell of "making money on somebody's misfortune." Bell traveled to Belarus in March and met with President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been called "Europe's last dictator." Bell told Reuters, "I have been asked to make a proposal to improve the external reputation of Belarus." His firm, Bell Pottinger, received a contract worth "millions of dollars" over several years, to boost "the image of Belarus among western countries and encourage foreign investment," reported O'Dwyer's. In their letter, the theater directors write "we did not quite understand" Bell's promise to "fix Belarus' image." Others who might not understand include "former Candidate for the President and now a political prisoner Alexander Kozulin, who serves now a five-year term sentence in prison and has outlasted the death of his wife there," they add. Instead of focusing on Belarus' image, why not explain the "virtues of the democratic choice," the theater directors ask Bell. Maybe because "nobody pays for that."