EU Extends Sanctions Over Belarus Crackdown

EU extends sanctions over Belarus crackdown

European Union member states on Thursday extended for a year sanctions imposed against the regime of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko over a brutal crackdown on protests

Brussels, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Feb, 2021 ) :European Union member states on Thursday extended for a year sanctions imposed against the regime of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko over a brutal crackdown on protests.

Last year, the bloc hit 88 individuals tied to the repression -- including Lukashenko and his son -- with asset freezes and visa bans in three rounds of sanctions.

The EU is currently considering whether to add a fourth round of Names to the blacklist as Lukashenko clings to power despite widespread opposition.

Huge protests erupted in Belarus in August after the veteran leader, who has dominated the country since 1994, claimed a landslide win over opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya at a disputed election.

Police responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon against demonstrators, and thousands were detained.

Belarusian authorities have launched a fresh clampdown on opponents in recent days -- raiding the homes and offices of journalists, rights defenders and trade unions.

Last week, the EU condemned Minsk's "shameful crackdown on the media" after the jailing of two television journalists for covering the protests.