UK targets ‘fraudulent’ Belarusian leader Lukashenko with sanctions

The UK has imposed sanctions including an asset freeze and travel ban on Belarus' president Alexander Lukashenko in response to human rights abuses following his "rigged" re-election.

The measures also apply to seven other leading figures in his regime, including the president's son and national security adviser Viktor Lukashenko.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the move sent a clear message to the "violent and fraudulent" regime.

It is the second time the UK's new sanctions regime has been used and Mr Lukashenko is the first national leader to be made subject to restrictions.

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Police officers detain a woman during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Daily protests calling for the authoritarian president's resignation are now in their second month and opposition determination appears strong despite the detention of protest leaders. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Women comfort each other during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
People with old Belarusian national flags march during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have been protesting daily since the Aug. 9 presidential election. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Women argue with a police officer during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in the Belarusian capital calling for the authoritarian president's ouster, some wearing cardboard crowns to ridicule him, on Sunday as the protests that have rocked the country marked their 50th consecutive day. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Police detain a man during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have been protesting daily since the Aug. 9 presidential election. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
A demonstrator wearing a face mask to protect against coronavirus waves an old Belarusian national flag during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have been protesting daily since the Aug. 9 presidential election. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Young people some wearing old Belarusian national flags draped around them, march during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have been protesting daily since the Aug. 9 presidential election. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
A woman wearing a crown similar to the one on the American statue of Liberty, during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in the Belarusian capital calling for the authoritarian president's ouster, some wearing cardboard crowns to ridicule him, on Sunday as the protests that have rocked the country marked their 50th consecutive day. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
People with old Belarusian national flags march during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020.Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have been protesting daily since the Aug. 9 presidential election. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
A woman wearing a face mask to protect agains coronavirus and a glasses with stickers in an old Belarusian national flag colors attends an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have been protesting daily since the Aug. 9 presidential election. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Riot police get ready during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Two women provide a health care to a wounded protester during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo)
Riot police detain a protester during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Riot police detain a protester during an opposition rally to protest the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests saying the authoritarian leader's reelection was rigged. Hundreds took to the streets in several cities in the evening to protest the inauguration. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
A woman with her child walks through a police line blocking the road to prevent against an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. Tens of thousands of Belarusians calling for the authoritarian president to resign marched through the capital on Sunday as the country's wave of protests entered its seventh week. Hundreds of soldiers blocked off the center of Minsk, deploying water cannon and armored personnel carriers and erecting barbed wire barriers. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Protesters wear old Belarusian national flags walk during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. Tens of thousands of Belarusians calling for the authoritarian president to resign marched through the capital on Sunday as the country's wave of protests entered its seventh week. Hundreds of soldiers blocked off the center of Minsk, deploying water cannon and armored personnel carriers and erecting barbed wire barriers. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
A masked protester gestures in front of police blocking the road to prevent against an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. Tens of thousands of Belarusians calling for the authoritarian president to resign marched through the capital on Sunday as the country's wave of protests entered its seventh week. Hundreds of soldiers blocked off the center of Minsk, deploying water cannon and armored personnel carriers and erecting barbed wire barriers. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Police block the road to prevent against an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. Tens of thousands of Belarusians calling for the authoritarian president to resign marched through the capital on Sunday as the country's wave of protests entered its seventh week. Hundreds of soldiers blocked off the center of Minsk, deploying water cannon and armored personnel carriers and erecting barbed wire barriers. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Protesters applaud a speaker during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. Tens of thousands of Belarusians calling for the authoritarian president to resign marched through the capital on Sunday as the country's wave of protests entered its seventh week. Hundreds of soldiers blocked off the center of Minsk, deploying water cannon and armored personnel carriers and erecting barbed wire barriers. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
A couple wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus and covered themselves by an old Belarusian flag stand in front of police blocking the road to prevent against an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. Tens of thousands of Belarusians calling for the authoritarian president to resign marched through the capital on Sunday as the country's wave of protests entered its seventh week. Hundreds of soldiers blocked off the center of Minsk, deploying water cannon and armored personnel carriers and erecting barbed wire barriers. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Police officers carry a woman to an ambulance during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Daily protests calling for the authoritarian president's resignation are now in their second month and opposition determination appears strong despite the detention of protest leaders. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
People gather at the monument of the WWII during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Protests calling for the authoritarian president's resignation broke out after an Aug. 9 election that officials say gave him a sixth term in office and that opponents say was rigged. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Women wearing old Belarusian national flags attend an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Daily protests calling for the authoritarian president's resignation are now in their second month and opposition determination appears strong despite the detention of protest leaders. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Women wave a huge Belarusian State flag as they listen to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko during a women's forum in Minsk, Belarus, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. President Alexander Lukashenko's decision to close the borders with Poland and Lithuania underlines his repeated claim that the massive wave of protests is driven by the West and comes amid increasing criticism from the United States and the European Union. (TUT.by via AP)
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The UK acted alongside Canada to announce the measures, stating that the regime in Belarus is responsible for a string of human rights violations against opposition figures and the media.

Thousands of people in Belarus have taken part in protests against the authoritarian leader's re-election in August despite a brutal crackdown by the state's security forces.

Mr Raab said: "Today the UK and Canada have sent a clear message by imposing sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko's violent and fraudulent regime.

"We don't accept the results of this rigged election.

"We will hold those responsible for the thuggery deployed against the Belarusian people to account and we will stand up for our values of democracy and human rights."

Belarus Lukashenko Inauguration
Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko (AP)

The sanctions apply to:

– Alexander Lukashenko, the president.

– Viktor Lukashenko, his son and national security adviser.

– Igor Petrovich Sergeenko, the president's chief of staff.

– Yuri Karayev, the minister of internal affairs.

– Alexander Barsukov, the chief of public security police.

– Yuri Nazarenko, commander of internal troops.

– Khazalbek Atabekov, deputy commander of internal troops.

– Dmitry Balaba, commander of the special purpose police unit of Minsk.

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