Görkem ŞEKEROĞLU -TDO- The European Union has included Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko along with his son Viktor, who is a national security adviser, to its already existing sanctions blacklist of Belarus officials, bringing the total to 59.
The latest group of 15 people added on Friday to the sanctions list also include KGB secret police chief Ivan Tertel and Lukashenko's chief of staff Igor Sergeenko.
The EU rejects Mr Lukashenko's claim to have won election on August 9 and condemns his crackdown on opponents. These sanctions aim to support anti-government protesters in Belarus who have been met with violence from security forces.
Protests have swept the country since its long-time leader claimed to have won the August 9 election with 80% of the votes but this was widely viewed as rigged.
The main opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, claimed she had received between 60 to 70% of the vote and was forced into exile in neighbouring EU member Lithuania soon after the election.
A recent report published by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said human rights abuses were “massive and systematic and proven beyond doubt”.
The EU's latest sanctions ban travel visas for the listed individuals and freeze any assets they may have in EU member states. In addition, EU citizens and companies are also forbidden from providing them with funds.