U.S. senators introduced a symbolic resolution Wednesday denouncing the recent Belarus election as illegitimate and calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners.
The measure crafted by Senators Dick Durbin and Joe Lieberman also calls for tough new U.S. and European sanctions on senior Belarus officials.
The senators describe the December 19 re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko for a fourth term in office as “fraudulent,” and they condemn the subsequent crackdown on the opposition and detention of other presidential candidates.
Durbin said the resolution puts the Belarusian regime on notice and renews international calls for change. He said it also says to the people of Belarus that the American people stand with them and support their quest for freedom.
Senator Ben Cardin said the resolution sends a strong signal of determination to hold Mr. Lukashenko's regime to account for its continued violations of human rights and democratic norms.
In January, the European Union and the United States imposed a new set of sanctions, including a travel ban, on Mr. Lukashenko and other Belarusian government officials.
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