The Lukashenko regime must halt the repression and immediately release detained human rights defenders and other political prisoners whose numbers now stand at more than 550, EU High Representative Josep Borrell has said.
His statement follows another wide-scale attack on independent voices in the country carried out by the Belarusian regime on 14 July. The raids on private houses and offices targeted a long list of human rights, educational and political groups and organisations, charities and think-tanks. Human rights defenders and other activists have been arrested.
“This new wave of repression is yet another proof that the Lukashenko regime is waging a systematic and well-orchestrated campaign with the ultimate aim to silence all remaining dissident voices and suppress civic space in Belarus. By cracking down on its own society, the Lukashenko regime has further deepened the rift with the Belarusian people,” says Borrell.
The EU High Representative also underlined that the severe violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms come at a price: “The EU is ready to consider further restrictive measures in line with its gradual approach. The EU will continue to do whatever it takes to support the people of Belarus.”
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