Daily US Times: The US, EU, UK and Canada imposed fresh sanctions on Belarus Monday in a coordinated response to the Alexandar Lukashenko government’s forced landing of a Ryanair flight and arrest of an opposition journalist and activist last month as well as the “continuing repression” in the former Soviet state.
In a joint statement, the US, EU, UK and Canada said they were “united in our deep concern regarding the Lukashenka regime’s continuing attacks on human rights, fundamental freedoms, and international law.”
The statement says they have taken coordinated sanctions action in response to forced landing of a commercial flight in an attempt to arrest journalist Raman Pratasevich and his companion Sofia Sapega, as well as to the continuing attack on fundamental freedoms and human rights.
Pratasevich, a critic of the Belarusian president, was arrested after his Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania was forced to land in Minsk. The diversion of the flight and the arrest of Pratasevich sparked international outcry, and the journalist’s appearances on Belarusian state television have prompted opposition members and observers to suggest he showed signs of being tortured.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced n a separate statement Monday that visa restrictions on 46 officials “for their involvement in undermining or injuring institutions in Belarus, making these individuals generally ineligible for entry into the United States.”
Mr Blkinken said these individuals hold key positions in the Presidential Administration, Ministry of Internal Affairs, State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus (Belarusian KGB), Ministry of Information, Ministry of Sport and Tourism, Investigative Committee, State Border Committee, Ministry of Health, Constitutional Court, Prosecutor General’s Office, and district courts in Minsk.
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