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Blinken calls for immediate, unconditional release of Belarus's political prisoners

WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (KUNA) -- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Thursday for the "immediate and unconditional release" of all political prisoners in Belarus.
"The Lukashenka regime now holds more than 1,000 political prisoners," Blinken said in a statement.
"Many of these prisoners - and those who have been previously held and released, as well as those forced to flee the country - have been subjected to reprehensible conditions." "The United States calls again for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, recognizing it as a necessary step for Belarus to emerge from its political crisis," he stressed.
He affirmed, "We will continue to work for justice for victims and accountability for perpetrators." "We call on Belarus to meet its commitments as a participating state of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and its international legal obligations to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms," he added.
He stressed, "We stand with the people of Belarus as they seek a future based on the rule of law and accountable, democratic government." The US top diplomat noted that since August 2020, the US, "In coordination with allies and partners, has imposed five rounds of sanctions on officials and supporters of the brutal Lukashenka regime." "Those sanctions will remain in place until the authorities cease their relentless repression of the Belarusian people, including by unconditionally releasing all political prisoners," he remarked. (end) si.gta