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Canada slaps more sanctions on Belarus, citing human rights violations

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Canada slaps more sanctions on Belarus, citing human rights violations
April 15, 2024
Reuters

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada is imposing another round of sanctions against Belarus officials over continuing human rights violations after a 2020 presidential election that the opposition denounced as fraudulent, Ottawa said on Monday.

The punitive measures target 21 current and former senior government figures, including members of the security forces, public prosecutors and members of the judiciary system, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"These individuals have been involved or complicit in arbitrary arrests and detentions, brutality, intimidation and excessive use of force against Belarusians who protested the fraudulent elections," it said.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly accused the West of trying to topple him after mass protests against his rule erupted in 2020 after the election. Lukashenko said he had won fairly, while conducting a sweeping crackdown on his opponents.

Canada has so far announced 14 rounds of sanctions against a total of 211 individuals and 71 entities in Belarus. Foreign Minister Melanie Joly is due to meet exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya this week in Ottawa.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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