US, UK impose sanctions against dozens of Belarusian officials
The US administration has introduced sanctions against 43 Belarusian citizens, including high-ranking officials “responsible for undermining democracy” in the country, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken revealed in a written statement.
Euroradio reports that the reason for the decision is the ongoing repressions against peaceful demonstrators, activists and journalists.
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“Particularly alarming are the February 16 raids against the human rights organization Viasna, the Belarusian association of journalists and independent trade union workers, as well as the February 18 sentencing of two journalists Yekaterina Andreeva and Darya Chultsova”, Blinken said.
The sanctions list includes officials from the justice sector, leaders and rank-and-file law enforcement officers who detained and mistreated peaceful demonstrators, judges and prosecutors responsible for imprisoning of journalists and protesters, as well as the university staff who threatened students.
These individuals will be banned from entering the United States, the document says.
So far, the press service of the State Department has not yet disclosed the names of the people on the sanction list.
The US government has previously introduced sanctions twice, against a total of 66 people, including high-ranking officials and citizens involved in the activities aimed at undermining democracy of Belarus.
The possibility of new US sanctions against Belarus is also discussed in the resolution, which is now being considered by the US Congress.
Ahead of the United States, the UK has also announced sanctions against Belarusian officials and others responsible for repressions and infringement of human rights.
On top of that, the UK list included judges, security officials and ‘propagandists’.
Massive protests against the current regime broke out in Belarus shortly after the presidential elections that took place on August 9, 2020 and lasted several months.
As a result of clashes with law enforcement, several demonstrators were killed, thousands have been arrested and tortured.
Some opposition leaders were detained, and some, like Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, whom opponents of the regime consider to be the legitimate president, had to leave the country.