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Statement by Minister Thomas Byrne, T.D., on recent developments in Belarus

"Ireland condemns the appalling human rights violations that continue to take place in Belarus. We reiterate our call to the Belarusian authorities to put a stop to its campaign of repression and to release those unjustly detained.

We reject the recent so-called ‘inauguration’ of Alexander Lukashenko, which lacks any democratic legitimacy. The Belarusian people alone have the right to define the future of Belarus in free and fair elections. I commend their resolute defence of democratic principles in the face of serious and ongoing threats and intimidation from the authorities.

As Minister with responsibility for European Affairs, I strongly support the current in-depth review of EU-Belarus relations, including its focus on ways to enhance supports for the Belarusian people, civil society, independent media, students and academics.

I again urge the Belarusian authorities to heed the calls of the international community and the OSCE by engaging in a national dialogue with the people to find a sustainable, peaceful and democratic solution for all."

ENDS 

PRESS OFFICE

30 SEPTEMBER 2020

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