Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has called for fresh Presidential elections to be held in Belarus, following the publication of an independent report which confirmed that August’s election was “falsified” and exposed the extent of human rights violations committed by Lukashenko’s regime.
The UK led the diplomatic campaign for an international and independent investigation through the OSCE into reports of electoral fraud throughout the Presidential elections and the Belarusian authorities’ campaign of violence, intimidation and harassment against peaceful protestors.
According to a press release from the Government, the UK expressed early concerns about the conduct of the elections and the grisly repression that followed. In September, the UK imposed landmark sanctions on Alexander Lukashenko, his son and senior figures in the Belarusian government under the UK’s new human rights sanctions regime in response to the torture and mistreatment of hundreds of peaceful protestors in custody.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “We pushed for this independent investigation and it has exposed the fraud at the heart of the Presidential elections and the despicable actions taken by Lukashenko’s regime to suppress the Belarusian people.
“New elections which are free and fair must now be organised, and those responsible for the violence against demonstrators held to account.”
The independent OSCE investigation concluded there is overwhelming evidence that:
- The elections were falsified.
- The Belarusian authorities committed massive and systematic human rights violations in response to peaceful demonstrations and protests.
- There is a climate of impunity and no one has been held accountable for torture and inhumane treatment by the security forces.
The 2020 Belarusian presidential election was held on Sunday, 9 August 2020. Early voting began on 4 August and ran until 8 August. Incumbent Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected to a sixth term in office, with official results crediting him with 80% of the vote.
The freedom of the media and the safety of journalists are under sustained attack by the Belarusian regimen according to HM’s Government.
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