By: The Associated Press
STRASBOURG, France - The European Parliament is backing EU moves to impose travel restrictions on leading Belarussian officials following what it calls rigged presidential elections.
EU Parliament President Jerzy Buzek said Thursday unless opposition leaders are immediately released the legislature wants "to re-apply the visa ban on the Belarusian leading authorities."
Several member states and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton have also said they may implement a ban when EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels on Jan. 31.
The country's Dec. 19 vote was widely regarded as fraudulent and criticized by international observers. Mass protests were violently dispersed by police, who arrested seven of nine opposition candidates.