U.S. Freedom House calls for sanctions against Belarus

The U.S. human rights organization Freedom House called on the European Union and the United States to renew full sanctions against Belarus.

"If the government of Belarus fails to take fully restorative action in the next two weeks, the European Union should renew full sanctions against the Lukashenko regime, which had been suspended in 2008," Freedom House Executive Director David Kramer said.

More than 600 people were detained in the Belarusian capital during a police crackdown on demonstrators after the presidential vote that the opposition said had been rigged.

"The current situation is much worse than that in 2006, when the EU and U.S. together imposed sanctions against the regime," Kramer added.

Western nations, including the United States, called the 2006 presidential elections in Belarus fraudulent and introduced sanctions against the country and travel bans on some Belarusian officials.

Lukashenko, 56, who has ruled Belarus with an iron rod since 1994 and has been dubbed by the United States "Europe's last dictator" for a clampdown on opposition and dissent, won 79.67% of the vote on Sunday. International monitors said the election was "flawed."

The United States and the European Union have called on Belarusian authorities to immediately release opposition activists who were arrested during the protests.

NEW YORK, December 24 (RIA Novosti)


Partners: Social Network