US slaps sanctions on Belarus over trial of opposition leader

Published: Updated:
Enable Read mode
100% Font Size

The United States announced visa restrictions Tuesday against 25 people in Belarus in response to the trial in absentia of opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and other pro-democracy activists.

The move came as Tikhanovskaya, who claimed victory over strongman Alexander Lukashenko in 2020 elections, went on trial facing charges of high treason, “conspiracy to seize power” and creating and leading an extremist organization.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“These politically motivated trials are the latest examples of the Lukashenko regime’s efforts to intimidate and repress those who seek justice, respect for human rights, and a democratic Belarus,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Those targeted by sanctions include members of the National Assembly that passed legislation authorizing the death penalty for persons convicted of “attempted acts of terrorism.”

The US statement said the charge is used to repress opposition members and civil society activists.

An ally of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Lukashenko,, who has ruled the former Soviet republic since 1994, has been hit with US sanctions for years.

In March the United States slapped economic sanctions on him for corruption and human rights violations.

Several allies of Tikhanovskaya are also being tried in absentia.

With Tuesday’s action the United States has now imposed visa restrictions on 322 people for undermining democracy in Belarus.

“We will not stand by as this regime continues to harass and repress peaceful protesters, the democratic opposition, journalists, unionists, activists, human rights defenders, and everyday Belarusians,” the statement added.

Read more:

Blinken meets Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in show of support

Germany’s allies press Scholz for green light on tanks for Ukraine

Ex-Wagner commander seeks asylum in Norway in fear for his life after fleeing Russia

Top Content Trending