Merkel Spurns Belarus Violence Before UN’s Day of Democracy
(Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel marked next week’s International Day of Democracy by reiterating her condemnation of the violent crackdown in Belarus.
“We are watching developments in Belarus with great concern,” she said in her weekly podcast published on the government’s website. “The commitment to democracy there is literally being trampled. Our heart beats with the peaceful protesters. The courage and determination with which they take to the streets for freedom and the rule of law is admirable.”
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has faced massive protests since his re-election in August, the most serious challenge yet to his 26-year-rule. His regime has cracked down on opposition leaders in the country, detaining or forcing into exile almost all the main organizers of the anti-government demonstrations.
U.S. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany called the election “fraudulent” earlier this week, and both the U.S. and European Union have threatened sanctions over the crackdown.
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