Petras Maloukas / AFP via Getty Images
White House Friday night Announced A series of sanctions against Belarus over its forced landing on a Ryanair commercial flight and the subsequent dismissal and arrest of opposition journalist Roman Protasovich.
White House spokeswoman Jen Pasaki said in a statement that the move was a “direct violation of international norms.”
Sunday flight deviation, made under the pretext of lying A bomb The plane comes as Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s government faces growing Western protests over recent crackdowns. Freedom of expression And public opposition
“These events took place amid a wave of repression by the Lukashenko regime against the aspirations of the Belarusian people for democracy and human rights,” Peski said in a statement.
Reacting to Protasovich’s arrest, Peski said the United States had issued travel advice urging US citizens not to travel to Belarus, re-imposing sanctions on nine Belarusian state-owned companies and extending further sanctions against the Eastern European nation-state. , Including actions.
“We are taking these steps together with our partners and allies to hold the regime accountable for our actions and to show our commitment to the aspirations of the Belarusian people,” Peski said. “We urge Lukashenko to allow a credible international inquiry into the events of May 23, to release all political prisoners immediately, and to engage in a comprehensive and genuine political dialogue with the leaders of the democratic opposition and civil society groups leading to the election.” Free and fair presidency under [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] Supervision and supervision. “
Protasovich, 26, became a political activist as a teenager. During last year’s widespread anti-government protests, Protasovich became the main figure among opposition activists, using Telegram’s encrypted message program to stage demonstrations.
Lukashenko, A. Six periods The dictator, who was recently accused of rigging his election victory, has established himself as a powerful international figure and is often hailed as Europe’s last dictator. In last year’s presidential election in Belarus, Lukashenko declared victory by claiming a landslide victory with 80% of the vote.
His controversial re-election sparked international outrage and sparked widespread protests in the streets of Minsk. Thousands of protesters Were arrested It was for their participation in the internal unrest and others Exiled from the government.
While a number of developed countries have strongly criticized Lukashenko’s strong rejection of fundamental democratic principles, such as freedom of expression, Lukashenko has allied himself with an authoritarian leader, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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