The Belarusian president, son and 13 officials are banned from entering the EU and their assets are frozen.

The European Union (EU) has imposed sanctions on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and 14 other officials for suppressing the democracy movement after the controversial elections in August.

The asset freezes and travel bans came into effect on Friday following an agreement reached by EU ambassadors earlier this week in response to “violent repression and intimidation of peaceful protesters, opposition members and journalists,” according to a press release.

Lukashenko’s son and national security advisor Viktor is one of the target groups for the new measures.

Among the other sanctions are Lukashenko’s chief of staff, the head of the country’s KGB intelligence service, and the president’s press secretary.

The EU rejected the results of the August 9 elections, saying it did not consider Lukashenko a legitimate president.

Mass protests rocked the former Soviet republic after the controversial presidential elections on August 9, allegedly manipulated by demonstrators.

In a report on the elections and the subsequent actions of the authorities, published on Thursday by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), it is said that human rights violations have been “massively and systematically and unequivocally proven”.

The vote was “not transparent, free or fair” and recommended that the result be annulled “due to irregularities at all stages of the process” and called on Belarus to “organize new genuine presidential elections based on international standards”.

Lukashenko claimed the election, but since then tens of thousands of opposition protesters have taken to the streets in a wave of protests. The Interior Ministry said last week it had arrested around 300 people.

The 66-year-old head of state, who is backed by Russia, was initially spared the blacklisting of the EU, which earlier last month was charged with 40 officials accused of fraud and legal violations.

Diplomats feared that adding his name to the list could exacerbate the crisis. Belarusian officials have repeatedly accused the EU of meddling in its internal affairs.


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