ontario news watch

Canada, allies sanction more Belarus officials for role in democratic suppression

OTTAWA — Canada has announced more sanctions against officials in Belarus as the country marks three years since a presidential vote that is widely seen as rigged.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly has added nine people and seven military entities to the list of Belarusians who are banned from visiting Canada or holding assets in the country.

Those sanctioned include Belarus’ head of state television,  the country’s defence department and some military technology companies, as well as judges and government officials.

Global Affairs Canada says today’s sanctions follow an August 2020 vote “marred by systematic voter repression, including state-sponsored violence against protesters, activists and journalists.”

Belarus is often dubbed Europe’s last dictatorship, with President Alexander Lukashenko holding office since 1994 and aiding Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Canada’s new sanctions come alongside similar moves by allies in the United States, Europe and New Zealand.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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