Response to ‘silencing remaining dissident voices’: EU ready to consider new sanctions against Lukashenka regime

On Thursday, Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, commented on the recent developmen in Belarus, calling it ‘the regime’s deepening the rift with the Belarusian people’.

On July 14, the raids on private houses and offices targeted a long list of human rights, educational and political groups and organisations, charities and think-tanks; lots of human rights defenders and other activists were arrested.

Mass detentions and searches across Belarus: Who became regime’s target on July 14

According to the EEAS head, this new wave of repression is yet another proof that the Lukashenka regime is waging a systematic and well-orchestrated campaign with the ultimate aim to silence all remaining dissident voices and suppress civic space in Belarus.

“The EU calls on the authorities in Belarus to adhere to country’s international commitments and obligations to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms. We demand the immediate release of detained human rights defenders as well as of other political prisoners whose numbers rise constantly, now being more than 550. The regime must halt the repression and hold perpetrators to account,” the statement reads.

The EU will continue to support international accountability initiatives, including under the UN HRC and the International Accountability Platform for Belarus, Borrell stressed.

‘The severe violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms come at a price. The EU is ready to consider further restrictive measures in line with its gradual approach. The EU will continue to do whatever it takes to support the people of Belarus. We will continue to stand with all human rights defenders, and independent voices and all the people oppressed in Belarus,” the top EU diplomat added.

En masse: Police raiding offices of Belarusian human rights organisations, flats of activists