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New sanctions against Belarusian officials mark anniversary of country’s rigged elections

Deputy Prime Minister Klinsky meets director of The Metropolitan Opera in New York

The US State Department announced on Tuesday that it would impose visa restrictions on 100 representatives of the Belarusian government and additional sanctions on the families of officials involved in the crackdown on anti-government protesters. The restrictions were announced on the second anniversary of the rigged presidential elections in Belarus, which sparked the biggest protests in the country’s history.

US diplomatic chief Anthony Blinken announced in a press release that it affected top officials, including a travel ban to the US. In the administration of the head of the country, Alexander Lukashenko, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the KGB, the state media, the armed forces, as well as judges and representatives of the Belarusian Parliament. These people allegedly engaged in repression and torture of demonstrators and opposition representatives.

In addition, the ministry extended sanctions against Deputy Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Mikheil Karpianko and the head of Minsk OMON Dmitry Balaba, barring their families from entering the United States.

So far, 297 people linked to the Belarusian regime have been detained.

“The United States stands with the people of Belarus as they strive for a democratic, sovereign and prosperous future. For human rights violations (…), we will continue to hold (representatives of the Lukashenka regime) accountable,” Blinken declared.

From Washington, Oscar Gorczynski

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