The Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council have criticized the violence against demonstrators in Belarus.
Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel call on the autocratic regime in Minsk to respect fundamental rights and freedoms.
During and after Sunday’s presidential elections, clashes between police and protesters took place in numerous places in Belarus. About 3000 protesters have been arrested. A protester would also have been killed and dozens injured.
The Electoral Commission has declared incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko the winner. Opposition leader and rival candidate Svetlana Tichanovskaja do not recognize the result and calls for a recount of the votes.
There is no place in Europe for the violent repression of peaceful protesters, Von der Leyen tweeted. She calls on the Belarusian authorities to accurately count and publish the election results.
EU foreign chief Josep Borrell and EU Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi (Neighborhood) speak in a statement of “disproportionate and unacceptable state violence against peaceful protesters”. They are calling for their immediate release.
The liberal group in the European Parliament, among others, denounces the “political repression” and wants sanctions against Belarusian officials. In 2016, the EU removed 170 Belarusians, including Lukashenko, from the sanctions list.