The SNP has called for sanctions on leading figures in the government of Belarus, in order to secure the release of state political prisoners.
The SNP’s Shadow Foreign Secretary joined protesters outside Parliament today, calling on the UK government to do more to impose sanctions on those involved in state aggression against Belarusian people.
During questions to the Foreign Office, Alyn Smith MP urged Foreign Office minister Wendy Morton to go further by:
– Imposing targeted sanctions on individuals involved in the oppression of Belarusian people under the Magnitsky legislation.
– Issuing a statement on what military cooperation, now suspended, the UK government had with Belarus
– Giving humanitarian aid to pro-democracy human rights activists.
– Sanctioning companies who have been involved in facilitating the oppression of protestors.
The Stirling MP also invited the minister to meet with Belarus activists in the UK.
Alyn Smith MP said:
“Myself and SNP colleagues joined Belarusian protestors outside Parliament today, who have watched on in horror at what is happening to people in their home country. I have invited the Minister to meet with these protestors, who are simply demanding a free and fair Belarus.
“I support the UK’s response as far as it goes, but I do urge the Foreign Office to do more to put pressure on international partners in sanctioning the behaviour of the Belarusian state.
“We cannot afford to turn a blind eye right now as protestors are turned into political prisoners for daring to speak out.
“The UK is in a position to have a much greater impact than it currently is by supporting human rights activists directly through aid and sanctioning individuals and companies involved in the oppression of Belarusian people.
“History will not look kindly upon those who simply stood by and meekly offered kind words, instead of hard actions.”