EU sanctions Lukashenko for a crackdown on Belarus demonstrations

People attend a rally in support of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko near the Government House in Independence Square in Minsk, Belarus

The European Union (EU) has slapped sanctions on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and 14 other officials for repressing the pro-democracy movement following August’s contested election.

The asset freezes and travel bans were implemented on Friday following an EU ambassadors’ agreement earlier this week that came in response to “violent repression and intimidation of peaceful demonstrators, opposition members, and journalists,” according to a press release.

Lukashenko’s son and national security adviser, Viktor, is among those targeted by the new measures.

Among the others hit with sanctions are Lukashenko’s chief of staff, the head of the country’s KGB secret service, and the president’s press officer.

The EU rejected the August 9 election results and said it does not regard Lukashenko as the legitimate president.

Mass protests rocked the former Soviet republic following the contentious August 9 presidential election that protesters alleged was rigged.

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