Human rights situation in Belarus getting worse, West must isolate regime – Nauseda

  • 2023-06-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - The human rights situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate and the West must isolate the Belarusian regime, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said on Tuesday, delivering his 4th State of the Nation Address.

Opposition leaders are arrested in Belarus, political parties are being persecuted, the media has been wiped out and active civil society organizations have been shut down, the Lithuanian president pointed out.

"The introduction of the death penalty for acts of terrorism has become a totalitarian stranglehold on society. It is the duty of the international community, including Lithuania, to isolate the Belarus regime and impose tough international sanctions," the Lithuanian president said. "We must press for the release and rehabilitation of political prisoners in Belarus as well as for transparent and democratic elections."

Authoritarian Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko cracked down on mass protests in the country after the 2020 presidential election as people demanded his resignation and democratic elections. Minsk also allowed Russia to use Belarusian territory to attack Ukraine last year.

"The regime in this country has entangled itself in a spiderweb of dependence on Russia and is now being consumed by it. At the same time, Belarus is fading. This has already led to the construction of an unsafe nuclear power plant in Astravyets and to the atrocities committed in Bucha and Irpin, where the killers wearing Russian army uniforms emerged from Belarus," Nauseda said.

Under the Constitution, the president has the duty "to make annual reports at the Seimas on the situation in Lithuania and the domestic and foreign policies".