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EU may impose more sanctions on Belarus over arrest of journalists: Polish minister

Published: Updated:

The European Union may impose further sanctions on Belarus after Minsk jailed two journalists for filming protests, Poland’s state news agency PAP quoted Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau as saying on Tuesday.

Belarus has detained more than 33,000 people in a violent crackdown on protests against President Alexander Lukashenko’s rule following a contested August election his opponents say was rigged. Lukashenko has been in office since 1994.

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Belsat TV journalists Katerina Bakhvalova (R) and Daria Chultsova (L), who were detained in Nov 2020 while reporting on anti-government protests, embrace each other in a defendants' cage before the start of their trial in Minsk. (File photo: AFP)
Belsat TV journalists Katerina Bakhvalova (R) and Daria Chultsova (L), who were detained in Nov 2020 while reporting on anti-government protests, embrace each other in a defendants' cage before the start of their trial in Minsk. (File photo: AFP)

“Unfortunately, the situation in Belarus is constantly deteriorating, so more sanctions are likely to be imposed. The list of political prisoners becomes longer. Also two Belsat journalists were added to the list,” PAP quoted Rau as saying.

Last week a Belarusian court jailed two Belarusian journalists for two years on charges of orchestrating protests against Lukashenko.

Katsiaryna Andreyeva, 27, and Darya Chultsova, 23, were detained in November in an apartment they had been using as a vantage point to film demonstrations over the death of a protester killed several days earlier.

The EU imposed a third round of Belarus sanctions in December, taking its list of those under travel bans and asset freezes to 88 people and seven entities. Britain, Canada and the United States have also imposed sanctions on Belarus officials.

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