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Statement by Minister Simon Coveney, T.D., on the Belarus Presidential Elections

I remain deeply concerned by the ongoing developments in Belarus and totally condemn the human rights abuses which we have seen take place since the flawed Presidential election. This result was not legitimate as evidenced by the intimidation and detentions which took place both before and after the election and the response of the state authorities to the large-scale and overwhelmingly peaceful protests which are now taking place across the country.  Ireland does not accept the election result as a true reflection of the democratic will of the Belarusian people.

 

I commend the many thousands of people who have made their voices heard, including through the mass demonstrations we have seen over the weekend, and notwithstanding the very real threat that they have faced to their personal liberty and safety.

 

Belarus is a country on the doorstep of the European Union and the people of this country are following events taking place in Belarus closely. The people of Ireland and the people of Belarus share strong connections.

 

It is of vital importance that we work with the international community to ensure that the rights and democratic will of the people are respected. It is for Belarus and its people alone to determine their future. I welcome the decision to convene a special European Council on Wednesday and I will be discussing the issue with my EU foreign minister colleagues over the next week. 

 

We will continue to press the Belarusian authorities to release all civilians who were unjustly detained and we fully support the initiation of a process of targeted sanctions.

 

ENDS

Press Office

17 August 2020

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