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EU Announces New Belarus Sanctions After Activist's Trial

Imprisoned Belarusian human rights activist Ales Byalyatski

Imprisoned Belarusian human rights activist Ales Byalyatski

The European Union has imposed sanctions on two Belarusian officials involved in the trial of human rights activist Ales Byalyatski.

Byalyatski, the leader of the banned "Vyasna" (Spring) rights group and a prominent critic of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for tax evasion in November, raising an outcry in the EU and the United States.

The two unnamed officials will face an assets freeze and a travel ban.

This brings up to a total of 210 the number of individuals targeted by EU sanctions to protest against a crackdown on civil society in Belarus.

The EU also forbids the export of arms and goods that can be used for repression in Belarus.

Moreover, has banned European companies for doing business with three entities linked to President Lukashenka.

compiled from agency reports