The United States is preparing sanctions against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko over his actions against a member of the opposition Coordination Council Maria Kolesnikova said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on September 8. The diplomat noted that the United States is coordinating actions with partners and allies and is studying the possibility of introducing additional personal sanctions against those responsible for repression and human rights violations in Belarus.
Pompeo stressed that Washington is “deeply concerned” about the kidnapping and attempted expulsion of Kolesnikova from Belarus, as well as the forced expulsion from the country of her associates Anton Rodnenkov and Ivan Kravtsov.
The Secretary of State has once again called on Lukashenko’s regime to stop violence against its own people and to release all political prisoners.
One of the leaders of the Belarusian opposition Maria Kolesnikova was abducted by unknown persons on September 7… Eyewitnesses filmed how men in civilian clothes grabbed Kolesnikova and pushed her into a minibus with the sign “Communication” near the National Art Museum in Minsk. The police and the Investigative Committee said that they had not detained the oppositionist.
In addition to Kolesnikova, two more members of the opposition Coordination Council, Ivan Kravtsov, and Anton Rodnenkov disappeared.
The next day, the State Border Committee of Belarus announced that Kolesnikova, Kravtsov, and Rodnenkov had left for Ukraine. Soon the official version was “corrected”: Kravtsov and Rodnenkov allegedly fled the country, and Kolesnikova was detained “while trying to illegally cross the border.”
However, surveillance cameras recorded how the car with the oppositionists went through all the procedures at the checkpoint without hindrance, and no one tried to stop it.
On the eve of the KGB, Olga Kovalkova was abducted. According to her, she was tortured and forced to leave Belarus, threatening to put her in jail for a long time otherwise. Kovalkova turned out to be one of more than 100 Belarusians hiding from the Lukashenko regime in Poland…
Protests have been going on in Belarus for a month against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko, provoked by the falsification of the presidential elections and police violence against citizens.
On August 9, presidential elections were held in Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the country since 1994, participated in them for the sixth time. According to official data from the CEC, he received 80%, and Svetlana Tikhanovskaya – 10% of the vote.
OMON used against protesters water cannons, stun grenades, and rubber bullets. Thousands of people were detained and beaten by the security forces at least five protesters were killed… Dozens disappeared without a trace.
After that, a nationwide strike was declared, which was joined by dozens of state-owned enterprises.
The European Union, the US, NATO, and the Council of Europe stated that the elections in Belarus were neither transparent nor democratic, and called on the official Minsk to respect the rights and freedoms of citizens.