The President of the U.S. Joe Biden has called for action against the Lukashenka regime viewing it as undemocratic and illegitimate.
Mr. Biden said the people of Belarus were prevented from letting “their voices heard and shape their own future through that most basic expression of democracy—an election.”
He further said, “The Lukashenka regime perpetrated election fraud, followed by a brutal campaign of repression to stifle dissent.”
His call comes against the backdrop of the 2020 Belarusian presidential election in which the incumbent Alexander Lukashenko was announced by the Lukashenko controlled Central Election Commission to have won a sixth term in office, crediting him with 80% of the vote.
However, the election was labeled by international monitors as neither free nor fair.
The election was followed by street protests by thousands of people as Opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was deemed the winner.
President Alexander Lukashenko has been leading the country since the first presidential elections held in 1994.
President Biden noted that the Lukashenko regime has detained thousands of peaceful protesters, imprisoned more than 500 activists, civil society leaders, and journalists as political prisoners, and force the diversion of an international flight in an affront to global norms.
“The actions of the Lukashenka regime are an illegitimate effort to hold on to power at any price. It is the responsibility of all those who care about human rights, free and fair elections, and freedom of expression to stand against this oppression,” he noted.
He further added, “The United States will continue to stand up for human rights and free expression, while holding the Lukashenka regime accountable, in concert with our allies and partners. Toward that end, today, we are issuing a new Executive Order that enhances our ability to impose costs on the regime and announcing new sanctions against Belarusian individuals and entities for their role in attacks on democracy and human rights, transnational repression, and corruption.”
He said he told the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, “we stand with the people of Belarus as they bravely pursue their democratic aspirations.”
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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