Baltics expand Belarusian officials blacklist

The Belarusian embassy in Tallinn, Estonia.
The Belarusian embassy in Tallinn, Estonia. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have expanded their blacklists of Belarusian officials banned from entering the Baltic states adding another 118 officials, the Lithuania minister of foreign affairs said on Thursday.

"Lithuania, together with Estonia and Latvia, stand in solidarity with the people of Belarus, who are fighting for their freedom. The regime's supporters must realise that the response to the brutal use of force against peaceful citizens will be very strict and clear. Lithuania will certainly not stand aside," said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis in a statement.

The 118 individuals are people who work in the Belarusian internal affairs system and who have directly or indirectly contributed to the falsification of results of the presidential election of August 9, 2020, repression of the democratic opposition and civil society, and serious and systematic human rights abuses, the statement said.

The news was announced on Thursday, March 25, which is being celebrated as the Day of Freedom by Belarusians. The blacklist was expanded "in response to the systematic repression by the Belarusian regime of the country's civil society, and in support of the democratic aspirations of Belarusians".

There are currently 274 officials from Belarusian authorities and force structures included in the national blacklists of the Baltic states. The decision was taken on the basis of the foreign ministry's proposal.

Latvia's national broadcaster published a list of the 118 officials, which can be read here.

Estonian's Ministry of Foreign Affairs also tweeted the news.

Estonia's Ambassador at Large for Human Rights Minna-Liina Lind tweeted a joint statement of support for Belarus which said: "We remain deeply concerned by the continued human rights crisis in Belarus. The widespread pattern of violence, arbitrary detentions, torture and ill-treatment inside detention centers and attacks on civil society organizations must stop."  

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Editor: Helen Wright

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