Radio Free Europe is reporting that the Government of Belarus has ordered the shut down of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe‘s (OSCE) office in Minsk.
This was because it had fulfilled its mandate according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Savinykh.
This is on top of the multiple arrests of activists and opponents of the Lukashenka administration.
The OSCE has stated that Belarus is still “a considerable way” from holding a democratic vote. The OSCE representative on freedom of the media, Dunja Mijatovic, also condemned detentions and assaults of journalists in Minsk following the election as “unacceptable.”
On Thursday Lukashenka issued a statement on the arrests saying “Don’t you demand [their release] from me. We are doing the way they do things in France and Germany”. Then he added, “If anyone pushes me and demands [the release], it will only make matters worse”. (As quoted by Interfax-Belarus & translated by Denis Baranov of Free Belarus. Original quotes in Russian: http://www.interfax.by/news/belarus/85687)
Worrying times for those opposed to the regime in Belarus.
- Lukashenka uncovered (economist.com)
- US does not recognize Belarusian election results (rt.com)
- West decries violent Belarus election as ‘seriously flawed’ (theglobeandmail.com)
- Belarus jails more than 600 opposition activists (reuters.com)