New EU sanctions against Belarusian authorities
The Council of the European Union has extended sanctions against Belarusian officials. Sanctions envisage restrictions for entering the EU territory by Belarusian officials including Alexander Lukashenka, and freezing of their bank accounts. Sanctions were extended after the disbandment of a peaceful rally on Freedom Day in Minsk, and mass crackdown on independent journalists.
The initial list of Belarusian officials who according to the EU are involved in abductions of politicians in Belarus in 1999-2000 included 6 persons. They were Internal Minister Uladzimir Navumau, Security Council Secretary Viktar Sheiman and a former Interior Minister Yury Sivakou, a commander of a special brigade of interior troops Dzmitry Paulichenka. In December 2004, after the Parliamentary elections and referendum, the head of the Central Election Committee Lidziya Yarmoshyna and Yury Padabed, commander of Minsk of riot police regiment, were included to the list.
In April 2006 the list was extended to 37 persons. Alexander Lukashenka was added to it. According to the EU, he was in charge of human rights violations during the presidential campaign. Later about 10 countries that are not members of the EU joined this decision.
On 23 October 2006 4 more persons were added to the list: judge of Maskouski district of Minsk Aliaksei Rybakou and public prosecutor Siarhei Bortnik (for the verdict to Aliaksandr Kazulin), and judge of Tsentralny district of Minsk Leanid Yasinovich and public prosecutor Andrei Mihun – for the verdict to activists of the Partnership public association.