Canada has announced new sanctions against Belarusian officials and entities in response to the politically motivated arrests of journalist Raman Pratasevich and his companion Sofia Sapega.
In a joint statement with the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, Ottawa says the sanctions are a response to the forced landing of a commercial flight between two EU countries on May 23 and the arrests of the pair.
The statement calls on the Belarusian regime to end its repressive practices against its own people, and expresses disappointment that the regime has opted to walk away from its human rights obligations, adherence to democratic principles and engagement with the international community.
It also calls on President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime to co-operate fully with international investigations into the landing of the commercial flight and immediately release all political prisoners.
Foreign Affairs Canada says 17 individuals and five entities have been added to the list of sanctioned persons, which bans anyone in Canada as well as Canadians outside of the country from doing business with them.
An air navigation services company, oil company and two Belarusian automobile plants are among the newly sanctioned entities.