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World UK preparing Magnitsky sanctions over Belarus human rights violations: minister

16:35  24 september  2020
16:35  24 september  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is preparing Magnitsky sanctions against individuals in Belarus in coordination with the United States and Canada, foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Thursday, after pointedly criticising the country's recent election.

Dominic Raab wearing a suit and tie: Britain's Foreign Affairs Secretary Dominic Raab is seen outside Downing Street in London © Reuters/TOBY MELVILLE Britain's Foreign Affairs Secretary Dominic Raab is seen outside Downing Street in London

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in for a sixth term after an election that the opposition and several foreign governments say was rigged.

Belarus police detain hundreds of women at protest

  Belarus police detain hundreds of women at protest Riot police on Saturday detained hundreds of women, dragging many into vans, as opposition protesters marched through the Belarusian capital Minsk demanding an end to President Alexander Lukashenko's rule. Police blocked the women and began pulling them into police vans as they stood with linked hands, swiftly detaining hundreds, an AFP journalist saw. Police lifted some women off their feet in order to remove them.Around two thousand women took part in the "Sparkly March", wearing shiny accessories and carrying red-and-white flags of the protest movement.

"Given Lukashenko's fraudulent inauguration, I have directed the FCDO (foreign office) sanctions team to prepare Magnitsky sanctions for those responsible for the serious human rights violations," Raab told parliament.

"We are coordinating with the United States and Canada to prepare appropriate listings as a matter of urgency."

Raab said the "whole range of potential individuals" was under considerations for sanctions, but did not give any names.

Britain had been prepared to work with the European Union on coordinated sanctions, but the bloc's plans have been blocked by member state Cyprus.

In July, Britain, having left the European Union, imposed its own sanction regime to place sanctions on 25 Russians and 20 Saudis, aimed at stopping the laundering of "blood money".

The so-called Magnitsky sanctions are named after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who was arrested in 2008 after alleging that Russian officials were involved in large-scale tax fraud. Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after complaining of mistreatment.

(Reporting by Kate Holton and Elizabeth Piper, writing by William James, editing by Estelle Shirbon)

Belarusian police detain at least 10 people at opposition rally: Ifx .
Belarusian police detain at least 10 people at opposition rally: IfxThe opposition is contesting official results of Belarus's Aug. 9 presidential election which declared incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko the outright winner.

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