US imposes visa restrictions in opposition trial in Belarus

WASHINGTON—The United States on Tuesday imposed visa restrictions on 25 people, including lawmakers, for undermining Belarusian democracy in politically motivated trials like deposed opposition leader Sviatlana Tsyhanuskaya, it said. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken said.

Belarus tried Tihanuskaya in absentia for treason on Tuesday after outspoken critics of veteran leader Alexander Lukashenko said it would be a “farce and show”.

Senior government officials targeted by Washington include members of the Belarusian National Assembly, who were instrumental in passing a bill allowing the death penalty for those convicted of terrorism, Brinken said.

Some support other repressive laws that strip citizens outside the country accused of “extremism” of their citizenship and confiscate property for “unfriendly behavior towards Belarus,” he said. said in a statement.

“We will not stand by as this regime continues to harass and repress peaceful protesters, democratic opposition, journalists, trade unionists, activists, human rights defenders and everyday Belarusians.” Brinken said.