Repression In Belarus Concerns London

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LONDON, Aug. 1 (UPI) — In a human rights report, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said political repression was a contentious issue in Belarus in 2011.

The U.N. Human Rights Committee said it had information to suggest that two men accused of murder in Belarus were executed despite an ongoing review of their cases by the United Nations.

Nearly 400 people were arrested during Independence Day celebrations in Belarus in early July and hundreds of political opponents to President Alexander Lukashenko were detained following contentious December elections.

“Repression of the political opposition, civil society and the independent media continued throughout the second quarter of 2011,” a report from the FCO read.

London blamed the Lukashenko government for taking an “increasingly repressive” approach to protests throughout the country despite the international condemnations.

Authorities in Minsk took a hard line against so-called silent demonstrations that coincided with Independence Day. Several were detained after the protest, which featured no slogans or signs.

“We believe that a more democratic Belarus, which acts in accordance with European Union values, would contribute to enhanced security in the region,” the report reads.

Lukashenko in June threatened to close the country’s borders if there were an economic catastrophe. Inflation in the country is in the double digits.

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