EU threatens Belarus with more sanctions after protester’s death

The EU in a statement on Friday threatened to add more sanctions against Belarus over the death of a 31-year-old man following his detention by the police in the capital Minsk.

Raman Bandarenka was taken away by police on Wednesday following a clash between locals hanging ribbons on a park fence in support of the opposition, and a group tearing them down, news website Tut.by reported, citing unidentified eye witnesses. An hour and a half later he was hospitalized, and he died on Thursday evening, according to the site, Bloomberg reported. The country’s Investigative Committee said Bandarenka was injured during the fight.

“This is an outrageous and shameful result of the actions by the Belarusian authorities,” the European Union’s diplomatic service said in a statement on Friday. The EU has already imposed sanctions on 55 individuals responsible for violent repression and intimidation, and stands ready to impose additional sanctions. The EU last week added President Alexander Lukashenko to a blacklist of Belarusian authorities implicated in ballot fraud and a subsequent crackdown on protesters. The penalties involve asset freezes and travel bans.

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