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Home >> World
UPDATED: 07:44, April 11, 2006
EU imposes visa ban on Lukasheko
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The European Union (EU) on Monday imposed a visa ban on Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and 30 other officials for what it deemed as violating international electoral standards and international human rights law.

Lukashenko and the officials are also subject to further targeted measures, according to a statement by the EU foreign ministers.

However, they did not elaborate on what the further measures would be.

The ministers, who were meeting in Luxembourg, said they would have the measures adopted and the list of persons targeted, under constant review.

Their statement added they deplored the fact that the March 19 presidential poll in Belarus had not been held "in a free and fair manner."

They also condemned "the violence used by the Belarussian authorities against demonstrators and the ensuing arrests of demonstrators and members of the opposition."

A visa ban was imposed in September 2004 on four Belarussian officials identified by the EU as key actors in the disappearance of four Belarussian citizens.

Another two officials were added to the list in December 2004, whom the EU considered responsible for the allegedly unfair elections and referendum in October that year.

According to the final results released by the Central Election Commission of Belarus, Lukashenko, 51, garnered 82.6 percent of the vote in the latest election. He was sworn in for a third term on Saturday.

The election drew different reactions from across the world. Russia said the process in Belarus had been fair and legitimate, while the European Union and the United States claimed the vote was rigged and backed the call for a new vote by the opposition.

Source: Xinhua

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