EU imposes sanctions on Belarus as Lukashenko orders police to counter protests
The European Union has announced financial sanctions against those involved in electoral fraud in Belarus.
Iran Press/Europe: European Council President Charles Michel said the bloc does not recognize the result of a contentious election that saw incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko claim 80% of the vote, according to Sky News.
"The EU will impose shortly sanctions on a substantial number of individuals responsible for violence, repression, and election fraud," he said at the end of an emergency summit of EU leaders.
As hundreds of protesters defied a new order from President Lukashenko and gathered on the streets of Minsk for continued demonstrations, Michel said the situation in Belarus is "increasingly concerning".
He said that violence against peaceful protesters was "shocking and unacceptable" and must be stopped.
"We stand by your side in the desire to exercise your rights and peaceful, democratic future," Michel told protesters.
Lukashenko has instructed his police to clear the streets after a week of rallies against him.
Almost 7,000 people were detained and hundreds were injured with rubber bullets, stun grenades, and clubs in the first four days of demonstrations, and at least two protesters died.