- Merkel warned Russia that there should be no outside interference in solving the crisis in Belarus.
- EU foreign ministers launched sanctions against those responsible for election manipulation and violence in Belarus.
- At least three demonstrators have so far been killed as a result of the demos.
The heads of state and government of the EU states do not recognize the result of the controversial presidential election that was recently held in Belarus. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the current EU head, lamented that the vote was neither free nor fair after a special EU summit on the political crisis in Belarus.
The Chancellor spoke after a three-hour consultation with her colleagues. She said, “these elections were neither free nor fair and did not meet international standards.”
‘We don’t recognize the results presented by the Belarus authorities,” EU Council President Charles Michel told news reporters adding,
“The people of Belarus deserve better. They deserve the democratic right to choose their leaders and shape the future.”
Merkel warned that there should be no outside interference in solving the crisis in Belarus, stating that an Intervention by Russia would complicate the situation.
On Friday, the EU foreign ministers launched sanctions against those responsible for election manipulation and violence in Belarus. The EU had renounced economic sanctions because these would also affect the Belarusian population.
Prior to the summit, opposition leader Svetlana Tichanowskaja called on the European Union not to recognize the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko as head of state in a video address.
According to elections results released by the local elections commission, Lukashenko won the elections with 80% of the vote. The result has been dismissed and made a laughing stock by the nation’s opposition. This was echoed by a number of Western governments that accuse the government of electoral fraud and criticize violence against peaceful demonstrators.
Three Protesters Killed
In the protests that ensued after the election, Belarusian security forces cracked down on the demonstrators, some of them brutally. Hundreds of people were injured and thousands were temporarily arrested. After their release from police custody, many demonstrators reported torture and ill-treatment.
At least three demonstrators have so far been killed as a result of the demonstrations.
As per information relayed by the Belarusian Ministry of Health, a protester died in a military hospital on Wednesday. It is said that he succumbed to the serious injuries that he sustained after the nation’s security men unleashed terror on him. The 43-year-old was injured in a demonstration a week ago in the city of Brest on the border with Poland.
According to the Interior Ministry, security forces used live ammunition during protests on the material day. The man’s daughter told independent portal tut.by that her father had a gunshot wound to the head with severe brain damage. Thousands of people said goodbye to two demonstrators at funeral services over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Belarus’ opposition has formed what is describes as a coordinating council aimed at organizing a transfer of power, in a move that the embattled Lukashenko has interpreted as an attempt to seize power through the back door.
He has consequently ordered the nation’s security agencies to tighten the screw on protestors and investigate what he describes as financiers of the demonstrations that have rocked the nation since his controversial win.
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