UK, Canada sanction Belarusian officials, including Alyaksandr Lukashenka

The United Kingdom imposed sanctions on Alyaksandr Lukashenka and a number of senior figures in the Belarusian government, the Foreign Office announced on Tuesday.

The new sanctions include a travel ban and asset freeze on eight individuals from the Belarusian regime: Alyaksandr Lukashenka; his son Viktar Lukashenka; Ihar Syarheyenka, Head of the Presidential Administration; Yury Karayeu, Interior Minister, Major General of Militia; Alyaksandr Barsukou, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Chief of Public Security Police; Yury Nazaranka, Deputy Interior Minister and Commander of Internal Troops; Khazalbek Atabekau, Deputy Commander of Internal Troops of the Interior Ministry; Dzmitry Balaba, Commander of the Special Purpose Police Unit of Minsk (OMON).

“Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime is responsible for a string of human rights violations against opposition figures, media and the people of Belarus in the wake of rigged elections. Despite numerous calls from the international community, he has refused to engage in dialogue with the opposition, choosing instead to double down on his violent repression,” the statement reads.

“Today the UK and Canada have sent a clear message by imposing sanctions against Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s violent and fraudulent regime. We don’t accept the results of this rigged election. We will hold those responsible for the thuggery deployed against the Belarusian people to account and we will stand up for our values of democracy and human rights,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.

The sanctions have been imposed as part of a coordinated international approach with Canada, in a bid to uphold democratic values and put pressure on those responsible for repression, the ministry added.

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