In solidarity with Belarusian people: Baltic states blacklist more regime officials on Freedom Day

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have expand their national blacklists of persons who are not allowed to enter the territories of the Baltic states ‘in solidarity with the Belarusian people celebrating Freedom Day, in response to the Belarusian regime’s repression of the country’s civil society’, Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports on ots official website.

“Lithuania, together with Estonia and Latvia, stand in solidarity with the people of Belarus, who are fighting for their freedom. The regime’s supporters must realise that the response to the brutal use of force against peaceful citizens will be very strict and clear. Lithuania will certainly not stand aside,” Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said in Thursday’s statement.

On March 25, the three countries added the names of 118 individuals, who ‘work in the Belarusian internal affairs system and who have directly or indirectly contributed to the falsification of results of the 2020 presidential election, repression of the democratic opposition and civil society, and serious and systematic human rights abuses’, to their persona non grata lists for an indefinite period of time.

“These particular officials have taken part in the violent suppression of peaceful protests in the aftermath of the presidential election of 9 August 2020 which was not recognised by the European Union,” Latvia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed.

The updated lists includes Mikhail Bedunkevich, the head of the 3rd department of the Main Directorate for Combating Organised Crime and Corruption (GUBAZiK/GUBOPiK); Artsyom Balaba, a son of Minsk riot police commander Dzmitry Balaba; Syarhei Byalkevich, the head of the regional riot police; Volha Chamadanava, Spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry, her husband, GUBAZiK officer Dzyanis Chamadanau, and others.

To date, there are over 270 Belarusian officials whose names have been put on the Baltic states’ blacklists.

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