Lukashenko regime in Belarus demonstrating its unfitness for office following harsh sentencing of political opponents - Kelleher

Published on: 18 January 2022

- Irish politicians must stop giving regime political cover -

Fianna Fáil MEP, Billy Kelleher has said that the incredibly harsh sentencing of opposition politicians by the Lukashenko regime in Belarus is further evidence that the country is no longer a stable and democratic country and has called on Irish politicians to stop giving the regime political cover.“This week leading opposition figures Syarhei Tsikhanouski, Mikalai Statkevich, Ihar Losik, Artsyom Sakau, Uladzimir Tsyhanovich and Dzmitry Papou were given excessive prison terms based on trumped-up charges of trying to seize power, inciting hatred and social unrest, and extremism.“This sentencing doesn’t come as a surprise to me - trials taking place behind closed doors is no way to run a legal system. The Lukashenko regime have long lost all credibility when it comes to rule of law and citizens’ rights.“What is very concerning is the tacit support being given to this regime by political actors in Europe, and sadly at home in Ireland. I cannot see a justifiable reason why any Irish politician, be they left or right, would support this regime.“Belarus is no longer a democratic state, and is bordering on becoming a failed state. No one should be giving the regime political cover when its citizens are suffering.“Furthermore, the Irish Government must raise at EU level the need for even stronger sanctions, focusing on punishing the leaders of the regime and not the people” concluded Kelleher.

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