According to Courtney Ostrien, Western countries will continue to call the Lukashenka regime to account for human rights violations
Speaking at a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, U.S. Charge d’affaires to the OSCE Courtney Ostrien made a speech on the anniversary of the falsification of the presidential elections in Belarus, stressing that Western “sanctions demonstrate our determination to hold the Lukashenka regime accountable for human rights violations, corruption, and attacks on democracy.”
“A year ago … the regime fraudulently declared victory and launched a campaign of violence and repression. Since then, Lukashenko has sought to strengthen his power at the expense of the Belarusian people. The regime unfairly holds more than 600 political prisoners. In an attempt to stifle vital independent voices, the authorities raided, blocked, and filed politically motivated charges against the media and non-governmental organizations,” Ostrien said.
She stressed that the Lukashenka regime is increasingly intimidating and persecuting Belarusians abroad, citing as an example the forced landing of RyanAir flight 4978 to arrest an opposition journalist, attempts to intimidate Lithuania and other EU countries neighboring Belarus with the help of an organized flow of illegal migrants to neighboring territories, as well as an attempt to send Belarusian athlete Kristina Timanouskaya to her homeland forcibly.
“These transnational repressions reflect a blatant disregard for international norms,” said Courtney Ostrien, “Cross-border repressions are unacceptable and must be stopped. The Lukashenka regime will continue to bear responsibility for its unfair actions.”
The full text of Courtney Ostrien’s speech can be found on the website of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE.