Tuesday, September 29, 2020

EU prepares new Belarus sanctions amid name for weekend protests

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The European Union is getting ready sanctions in opposition to officers in Belarus who’re answerable for a lethal post-election crackdown on protesters, EU international affairs chief Josep Borrell has stated.
The inexperienced gentle was given by the 27 EU international ministers throughout a video convention in Brussels on Friday, whereas protests throughout Belarus over the controversial August 9 election continued for a sixth day. “EU will now initiate a process of sanctions against those responsible for the violence, arrests and fraud in connection with the election,” Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde stated after the emergency talks.
The people to be sanctioned embody these answerable for police violence and election fraud.
President Alexander Lukashenko, 65, claimed a landslide victory for a sixth time period however now faces the most important problem to his 26-year rule.
His 37-year-old rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, presently in exile in neighbouring Lithuania, has referred to as for intensified protests over the weekend and a recount of the votes.
At least two protesters died and about 6,700 had been arrested this week. Angry protesters, a few of whom accused the police of torture whereas in custody, have claimed the poll had been rigged. Belarus releases protesters earlier than EU dialogue on sanctions Ahead of the EU assembly, there have been requires motion from a number of bloc members, particularly Belarus’s neighbours, Poland and Lithuania.
Poland, Latvia and Lithuania say they’re able to act as mediators to attempt to resolve the post-election disaster, after the ballot that Brussels has already stated was “neither free nor fair”.
The EU first imposed sanctions on Belarus in 2004. It tightened them in 2011 over abuses of human rights and democratic requirements, together with vote-rigging.
Many had been lifted after Lukashenko launched political prisoners in 2016. But an arms embargo stays, as do sanctions on 4 individuals over the unresolved disappearances of two opposition activists, a journalist and a businessman, years in the past.
Huge protests proceed
Lukashenko denies electoral fraud. His authorities freed many jailed demonstrators on Friday after issuing a uncommon public apology.
However, residents took to the streets once more within the capital, Minsk, and different cities on Friday, with Tikhanovskaya calling for mass weekend rallies to denounce the long-standing chief’s disputed declare of re-election. “We have to stop the violence on the streets of Belarusian cities. I call on the authorities to put a stop to this and come to the negotiating table,” Tikhanovskaya stated in a video tackle. “I ask the mayors of all cities to organise peaceful mass assemblies in every city on August 15 and 16.”
Workers from a number of factories went on strike on Friday, prompting Lukashenko to denounce the individuals, and stated solely “saving the factories will feed their families”. “The crowds are swelling here by the minute at the Independence Square in Minsk,” Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen stated, reporting from the capital.
She stated employees from a tractor manufacturing unit within the metropolis’s outskirts left work and marched in direction of town centre, resulting in tensions because the army police arrived. “People were really scared,” she stated. “But then, surprisingly, these soldiers put down their shields which led to very emotional scenes with women hugging them and people really crying.” A protester embraces a member of Belarusian inside ministry’s troops near the Independence Square in Minsk [Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters] SOURCE: Al Jazeera and information companies

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