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UK, Canada impose sanctions against Belarus officials

UK, Canada impose sanctions against Belarus officials

2.10.2020 | Emily Beeken | U. Pittsburgh School of Law, US OCTOBER 1, 2020 03:18:06 PM | 91

Canada and the UK imposed sanctions against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and several other senior officials Tuesday, responding to the rigged election and subsequent violence against protesters. The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office clarified that the sanctions are part of a “coordinated international approach with Canada, in a bid to uphold democratic values and put pressure on those responsible for repression.”

The asset freeze and travel ban imposed by the UK extends to President Lukashenko, his son Victor Lukashenko, and Igor Sergeenko, Head of the Presidential Administration. In total, the sanctions include eight senior officials. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Rabb stated: “We will hold those responsible for the thuggery deployed against the Belarusian people to account and we will stand up for our values of democracy and human rights.”

Canada’s sanctions cover 11 officials. Global Affairs Canada enumerated the human rights violations by Belarus, including prolonged arbitrary detentions, brutality, intimidation, and the excessive use of force against peaceful protesters, including through the use of water cannons, flash grenades, rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, and the use of live ammunition.

This coordinated effort is the latest in a string of sanctions against Belarus. Participating entities currently include the EU, the UK, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The US has sanctioned Alexander Lukashenko since 2006, both freezing his assets and barring his entry, but did not join the UK and Canada in extending sanctions to other senior officials.

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