U.S. says Belarusian state firms' license revoked due to rights abuses

Reuters | Updated: 19-04-2021 22:19 IST | Created: 19-04-2021 22:19 IST
U.S. says Belarusian state firms' license revoked due to rights abuses

The United States on Monday revoked an authorization for certain transactions with nine sanctioned Belarusian state-owned enterprises over alleged human rights violations and abuses in the Eastern European country.

"This action is a further consequence of the Belarusian authorities' flagrant disregard for human rights and Belarus' failure to comply with its obligations under international human rights law," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday issued a new license allowing the wind-down of transactions involving the companies, which include state energy firm Belneftekhim, until June 3.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said last month that the department could not recommend the renewal of the license, adding that the human rights situation in Belarus has deteriorated to arguably the worst point in the country's independent history. The license, which allowed U.S. persons to engage in certain transactions with the enterprises, had been renewed annually since 2015 through last year due to notable progress by Belarusian authorities on human rights, Blinken said.

But Washington decided that an extension this year would go against U.S. values and the Belarus Democracy Act, Blinken said, adding that the nine companies finance and support Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's government, "facilitating its violent repression of the Belarusian people and repeated rejection of the rule of law." Lukashenko, 66, has faced the biggest challenge to his nearly 27-year-rule since protesters took to the streets after he was declared the winner of an election last year that they said was rigged.

About 35,000 people have been detained since the start of regular demonstrations in August 2020. Lukashenko denies electoral fraud and has accused the West of sponsoring the protests. "The United States calls on the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those unjustly detained or imprisoned," Blinken said. He added that more than 340 political prisoners were currently detained in Belarus as a result of government suppression during and after the country's 2020 election.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



Blockchain in Healthcare: Opportunities and challenges

The use of blockchain in healthcare is a relatively new innovation with many of its uses still being explored and related technologies being developed, improved, and scaled. ...

Debate surrounding vaccine passports and development misses bigger picture

... ...

Blockchain vs IOTA: Looking for a better alternative

... ...

For stability, Iraq needs to crack down on corruption

... ...


Latest News

U.S. completes Jones Act assessments, ready to review waiver requests -White House

The U.S. Transportation Department has completed its assessment of what ships are available to carry petroleum products from the Gulf to the Eastern Seaboard and is ready to review any Jones Act waiver requests, the White House said on Wedn...

Delhi: Five held for selling oxygen flow meters, oxygen concentrators at exorbitant rates

Five men were arrested here in two separate incidents for allegedly selling oxygen flow meters and oxygen concentrators at exorbitant rates, police said on Wednesday.After receiving information that two men in Burari were selling oxygen flo...

COVID impact: Royal Enfield to shut down manufacturing plants from May 13-16

Mid-sized motorcycle maker Royal Enfield on Wednesday said it has decided to shut down its two manufacturing facilities between May 13-16 in order to safeguard its employees amid the second wave of coronavirus pandemic in the country.The co...

Home Affairs secures court interdict against UTT

The Department of Home Affairs has secured a court interdict, which prohibits members of the Unification Task Team UTT from intimidating staff and people visiting Home Affairs offices.The interdict also prohibits UTT from damaging any Home ...

Give Feedback