Belarus: EU condemns trials in absentia against opposition leaders and journalists
January 18, 2023

Belarus: EU condemns trials in absentia against opposition leaders and journalists

The European Union has condemned the trials in absentia against leaders of the democratic opposition, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Pavel Latushka, and against three other members of the Coordination Council, started by the Lukashenko regime on 17 January.

“They are facing fabricated charges of treason, extremism, conspiracy and incitement to hatred and are risking up to 20 years of prison just for trying to exercise their democratic rights,” said a statement by the EU High Representative Josep Borrell. “The start of these trials comes after similar steps by the regime against Nobel prize winner Ales Bialiatski last week and a journalist and member of the board of independent Union of Poles of Belarus, Andrzej Poczobut.”

The EU said the political repression by the regime of Lukashenko had reached an unprecedented level. There are now more than 1,440 political prisoners. Borrell condemned “this brutal repression and the politically motivated trials aimed at silencing any independent voices and closing all remaining space for democratic debate.”

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