PACE Urges Belarus to Release Opposition Detainees

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is urging Belarus to immediately release opposition activists, journalists and human rights activist detained following the disputed reelection of President Alexander Lukashenko.

The 47-member states of the assembly are also calling for a investigation into attacks on protesters following the last month's election.

The assembly urged its members to back European Union sanctions against Belarusian officials responsible for the oppression. The EU is expected to make a final decision on sanctions against high ranking Belarus officials at its meeting in Brussels January 31.

A U.S. Senate committee on Thursday heard testimony from U.S. and Belarusian rights activists who are demanding sanctions against Mr. Lukashenko's regime.

Rights activists demanded the toughest possible sanctions, including withholding international aid.

Activists also urged members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee to call for financial support for Belarusian opposition groups, journalists and non-governmental groups


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