Tag Archives: Belarus

Norway’s Foreign Minister criticizes Belarus after arrests of activists: “Political prisoners must be released”

Norway’s Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H) strongly criticized Belarus on Thursday.

Belarusian security officials stormed the offices of activists fighting for civil rights in the country on Wednesday.

The rights group Vyasna states that the office in Minsk and the home addresses of at least five of the members elsewhere in the country were visited by the security agents. Several were arrested.

Norway strongly condemned the actions of President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.

“The authorities in Belarus show a total lack of respect for fundamental human rights,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide tweeted on Thursday.

“Norway condemns the attacks on civil society and the arrest of human rights defenders in Vyasna and other organizations. Political prisoners must be released immediately,” she added.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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This post originally posted here Norway Government & Politics News

Norway adopts further restrictive measures against Belarus

“Today, Norway has aligned with the EU’s new sectoral sanctions against Belarus as a response to the major human rights violations being committed by the country’s authorities,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide stated on Monday.

The situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate, with the jailing of members of the opposition, the harassment of human rights defenders, and the silencing of independent media. 

According to human rights organizations, Belarus has over 500 political prisoners. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has repeatedly urged the Belarusian authorities to cease their human rights violations.

Norway has aligned with the fourth round of the EU’s restrictive measures against Belarusian officials and entities, as well as the EU’s recently adopted measures against key sectors of the Belarusian economy. 

Restrictions

These include, among others, restrictions on trade in items used for repression, certain dual-use items, petroleum products, and goods used in tobacco manufacturing. 

These sectors provide the Belarusian state, and thus President Lukashenko’s antidemocratic regime, with large revenues. The Norwegian regulations on specific measures against Belarus will be updated with the latest additions.

“These sectoral sanctions demonstrate the resolve of Norway and its close European partners to react strongly to major human rights violations in Belarus. Instead of pursuing its failed policies, the regime must free all political prisoners and initiate a dialogue with the democratic forces,” Foreign Minister Eriksen Søreide warned.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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Belarus shuts borders: Citizens barred from leaving and foreigners must provide documents

Border force has imposed tough restrictions on Belarusian citizens and foreign nationals with a residential permit in Belarus. Those with a temporary residence card in another country are not allowed to leave.

A temporary residence permit in a foreign state is not a basis for leaving Belarus, the State Border Committee said.

It added departure from the country through ground checkpoints is limited for both Belarusian citizens and foreigners with a residence permit in Belarus.

Belarus sparked widespread condemnation from the international community last week, after officials re-routed a Ryanair plane to Minsk and arrested a dissident journalist and his partner.

Officials in Belarus scrambled a MiG-29 fighter plane to escort the aircraft to Minsk airport then apprehended Roman Protasevich – a blogger and critic of President Alexander Lukashenko – and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega.

The flight had been en route to Lithuania from Greece on May 23.

Ryanair said the crew had been “notified by Belarus of a potential security threat on board and were instructed to divert to the nearest airport, Minsk”.

The European Union has urged its airlines to avoid Belarus amid the outrage over the forced landing of the passenger plane.

The bloc is considering imposing sanctions on Minsk.

Belarus has been isolated by large parts of mainland Europe, but has Russia in its corner.

Moscow will defend Belarus and provide help if Brussels enforces economic sanctions on Minsk, a Russian foreign ministry official.

Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, has been holding cosy talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin over the weekend.

He added the Kremlin would take note of the fact Ms Sapega also has a Belarusian residency permit.

Russia will also press ahead with a second £352million ($ 500million) loan to Belarus next month.

Moscow promised Minsk a £1.1billion ($ 1.5billion) loan in 2020 as part of efforts to stabilise its neighbour.

Minsk received a first instalment of £352million ($ 500million) in October.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed