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Sports EU demands release of Belarus political prisoners and warns of sanctions

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Publishedduration5 hours agoimage copyrightReutersimage captionMaria Kolesnikova's whereabouts are unknownThe EU has demanded the Belarus authorities release "all detained on political grounds before and after" the disputed presidential elections.It is planning sanctions for those responsible for "violence, repression and falsification of election results".Key opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova went missing on Monday after she was seen being…
Sports EU demands release of Belarus political prisoners and warns of sanctions



image copyrightReuters

image captionMaria Kolesnikova’s whereabouts are unknown

The EU has demanded the Belarus authorities liberate “all detained on political grounds earlier than and after” the disputed presidential elections.

It is planning sanctions for these to blame for “violence, repression and falsification of election results”.

Key opposition settle Maria Kolesnikova went lacking on Monday after she used to be seen being bundled valid into a minibus.

She used to be one of three ladies who joined forces to scenario incumbent Alexander Lukashenko in August’s election.

Mass protests followed his re-election amid allegations of vote-rigging.

Bigger than 600 of us had been arrested on Sunday, following a fourth consecutive weekend of anti-executive protests within the capital Minsk and diversified cities. A minimal of 4 of us private died and a total bunch had been injured as authorities private tried to crush dissent.

Mr Lukashenko – who has been in energy since 1994 – has accused Western countries of interference. He’s expected to chat about along with his ally Russia “within the coming days”, the Kremlin mentioned on Monday.

Sports What came about to Maria Kolesnikova?

Ms Kolesnikova used to be seen by witnesses being seized by masked males on a boulevard in Minsk on Monday morning and pushed valid into a minibus.

She is a member of the Co-ordination Council living up by the opposition to make certain a transfer of energy. A member of the council, Maxim Znak, mentioned on Monday night time: “We still don’t know the salvage Maria is and what’s occurring to her”.

The council says its press secretary, Anton Rodnenkov, and its executive secretary, Ivan Kravtsov, private also disappeared.

The interior ministry mentioned it had no files relating to the council people being detained.

Ms Kolesnikova used to be the last of the three ladies who joined forces against Mr Lukashenko to stay interior Belarus. Veronika Tsepkalo and presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya left the nation soon after the vote.

Ms Tikhanovskaya mentioned basically the most modern detentions had been an try to disrupt the work of the Co-ordination Council. “The extra they’re seeking to apprehension us, the extra of us will utilize to the streets,” she mentioned in an announcement from Lithuania.

Executive authorities private launched a prison case against opposition leaders, pronouncing the “creation and yelp of the Co-ordination Council are aimed at seizure of voice energy, and at harming national security”. The council accuses Mr Lukashenko of “openly utilizing techniques of fear”.

image copyrightGetty Photos

image captionFinal week, Ms Kolesnikova provided she used to be forming a recent political event

Sports What used to be the EU’s reaction?

The EU’s Excessive Manual for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, strongly condemned what he called the “unabating arbitrary and unexplained arrests and detentions on political grounds”.

“It is glaring that the Sigh authorities in Belarus proceed to intimidate or allow intimidation of its electorate in an additional and further lawless potential and crudely violate every their very maintain domestic criminal techniques and worldwide obligations.”

He called for the instantaneous liberate of opposition figures as effectively the 633 of us that had been detained throughout Sunday’s enlighten.

“We ask the authorities to cease political persecution and maintain in an inclusive national dialogue, in corpulent recognize of the Belarusian of us’s democratic and valuable rights.”

Earlier, the EU mentioned it planned to impose economic sanctions on 31 senior Belarus officers – including the interior minister – by mid-September. The sanctions are expected to cowl race bans and asset freezes.

Sports What came about on Sunday?

Police started to gain arrests in Minsk on the finish of an unsanctioned rally as of us had been going home. Video photos presentations males in easy dresses beating serene protesters with batons.

media captionProtesters took to the streets of Minsk and demonstrated outdoors President Lukashenko’s palace

The interior ministry confirmed no longer decrease than 633 arrests had been made across the nation.

Within Affairs Minister Yuri Karayev defended the actions of the safety forces, pronouncing “there are no longer any extra humane, restrained and chilly-headed police wherever on this planet”.

In most modern days, the safety forces private focused college college students as they returned from their holidays, dragging some from the streets and college structures into unmarked minivans.

image copyrightEPA

image captionSunday marked the fourth consecutive weekend of demonstrations in Belarus

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