US POUNCH SANCTION ON BELARUS POLICE OVER CRACKDOWN

US slaps sanctions on Belarus police over crackdown

St. Liu

  • a large crowd of people: Belarus pensioners rally in November 2020 in Minsk against the widely contested results of the election
  • Belarusian law enforcement officers follow participants of an opposition rally, who demand the resignation of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and protest against police violence in Minsk, Belarus November 30, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer
  • Riot police block Belarusian pensioners wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. Hundreds of retirees rallied in the Belarusian capital on Monday against the country's authoritarian leader, as security forces moved to break up the traditional weekly march. The crowd of pensioners in Minsk that demanded President Alexander Lukashenko to resign ran into police cordons along the route of the march and divided into smaller groups that went into different directions. (AP Photo)

a large crowd of people: Belarus pensioners rally in November 2020 in Minsk against the widely contested results of the electionNext SlideFull Screen1/3 SLIDES © StringerBelarus pensioners rally in November 2020 in Minsk against the widely contested results of the election

The United States on Wednesday slapped sanctions on Belarus police units and a senior security official over their violent crackdown on mass protests following the strongman leader´s contested reelection.

The Treasury Department said it will freeze any US assets and bar transactions with first deputy interior minister Gennady Kazakevich, who in October appeared in a video threatening protesters with lethal force.

“We stand with the brave people of Belarus and support their right to free and fair elections,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, denouncing ongoing “efforts to undermine Belarusian democracy.”

The Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on three security bodies involved in the crackdown including the Minsk Special Purpose Police Unit.

The United States previously imposed sanctions on election authorities accused of rigging the August vote, in which President Alexander Lukashenko was declared the winner of a sixth term.

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  • Slide 2 of 126: A man receives a dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates December 23, 2020. Government of Dubai Media Office/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
  • Slide 3 of 126: Presidential candidate for the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PDNS) Mohamed Bazoum gives a speech during a campaign rallye in Diffa on December 23, 2020, ahead of Niger's December 27 presidential and legislatives elections. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 4 of 126: Romanian Prime minister-designate Florin Citu, votes during a session called to approve the new government team in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. Romania's parliament on Wednesday approved a new liberal government and prime minister, keeping out of power a left-leaning populist party that won most votes at a parliamentary election earlier this month after 260 lawmakers in Romania's 465-seat, two-chamber assembly on Wednesday voted for the new government, while 186 voted against. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
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  • Slide 6 of 126: Egypt's Health Minister Hala Zayed speaks during a news conference announcing the details of a vaccination campaign against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Cairo, Egypt December 23, 2020. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
  • Slide 7 of 126: Pope Francis holds the weekly general audience at the Library of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican, December 23, 2020. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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  • Slide 9 of 126: A volunteer to helps to put masks on devotees face during Saat Gaule Jatra at Panga, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal on Wednesday, December 23, 2020. It is the part of famous festival celebrated annually marking the arrival of winter. Jatras and festivals are part of life for Newar community. (Photo by Narayan Maharjan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
  • Slide 10 of 126: ANKARA, TURKEY - DECEMBER 23: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY  MANDATORY CREDIT - "TURKISH PRESIDENCY / MURAT CETINMUHURDAR / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan poses for a photo with Ambassador of Slovakia to Ankara Jan Psenica after receiving the letter of credence from him, at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on December 23, 2020. (Photo by Turkish Presidency/ Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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  • Slide 12 of 126: DHAKA, BANGLADESH - DECEMBER 23: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY  MANDATORY CREDIT - "PRIME MINISTRY OF BANGLADESH / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) and Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina (R) meet for talks in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on December 23, 2020. (Photo by Prime Ministry of Bangladesh / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • Slide 13 of 126: DOBRICH, BULGARIA - DECEMBER 23:  People from the social enterprice Wonderful garden enjoy food and exchange small gifts during a Christmas party on December 23, 2020 in Dobrich, Bulgaria. The Bulgarian social enterprise 'Wonderful Garden' provides people with disabilities socio-economic opportunities. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Christmas party has been held outdoors.  (Photo by Hristo Rusev/Getty Images)
  • Slide 14 of 126: CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 23: Members of the military practice loading and unloading a stretcher into an ambulance at Maindy Barracks on December 23, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. The Welsh Ambulance Service has called on the army to help as it deals with acute pressure on its service. More than 90 soldiers will be drafted in from today to help drive their emergency vehicles as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic continues to take hold on the NHS. Members of the 9th Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, 1st Armoured Medical Regiment, RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corps) and the 4th and 5th Armoured Medical Regiment will provide assistance. Wales has had more Covid-19 cases in the last seven days relative to its population than any other country in the world except Lithuania. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
  • Slide 15 of 126: Media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, founder of Apple Daily, leaves the High Court on bail, in Hong Kong, China December 23, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
  • Slide 16 of 126: KRANJ, SLOVENIA - 2020/12/23: People wait in a line to take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test as Slovenia begins mass testing.
COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are under way in more than 20 towns in Slovenia, one of worlds worst hit countries by the second wave of covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • Slide 17 of 126: Protesters block a road leading to an oil complex during anti-government protests in Basra, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Jamil al-Jurani)
  • Slide 18 of 126: Protesters hold placards during a demonstration against the government policy of forced cremations of Muslims who die of the Covid-19 coronavirus outside a cemetery in Colombo December 23, 2020. (Photo by Lakruwan WANNIARACHCHI / AFP) (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 19 of 126: Volunteers spray disinfectant in the main hall of St Paul's Parish in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, ahead of  Christmas celebrations, in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
  • Slide 20 of 126: Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, speaks to reporters at the guest house next to the royal palace in Rabat, Morocco, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. Kushner led a delegation from Israel to Morocco on Tuesday on the first known direct flight since the two countries agreed to establish full diplomatic ties earlier this month as part of a series of U.S.-brokered normalization accords with Arab countries. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)
  • Slide 21 of 126: Nigerien Soldiers stand guard next to a campaign billboard of Niger presidential candidate for the National Movement for the Development of Society (MNSD), Seini Oumarou, in a street in Niamey, Niger, on December 22, 2020, ahead of the country's presidential elections scheduled for December 27, 2020. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 22 of 126: Spain's Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha Gonzalez Laya (R) welcomes Belarus' opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on December 22, 2020 in Madrid. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 23 of 126: Children play with the Christmas street illumination in Ogre, Latvia December 22, 2020. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
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  • Slide 26 of 126: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement at the Knesset (Israel's parliament) in Jerusalem, December 22, 2020. Yonatan Sindel/Pool via REUTERS
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  • Slide 28 of 126: LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA - DECEMBER 22: People wait in queues after mass coronavirus testing has been launched at new established mobile test centers in Ljubljana, Slovenia on December 22, 2020. (Photo by Ales Beno/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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  • Slide 30 of 126: A woman counts money after selling flowers at a flower market in Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 23, 2020. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
  • Slide 31 of 126: Romanian prime minister-designate Florin Citu speaks after his nomination in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. Romania's president on Tuesday appointed the outgoing finance minister as prime minister-designate after three pro-Western center-right groups joined forces to keep out of power a left-leaning populist party that won most votes at a parliamentary election earlier this month. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
  • Slide 32 of 126: MARA LODGES, KENYA - DECEMBER 22: Empty tables stand in the restaurant of a lodge that was forced to close due to financial reasons at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, on December 22, 2020 in the Mara North Conservancy, Kenya. Conservation efforts here have long derived funding from international visitors who go on safari and stay in high-priced lodges in the reserve. The covid-19 pandemic has dramatically reduced the number of foreign tourists, forcing hotels and lodges to close and for the Kenyan government to set aside a recovery fund for area businesses and conservation. (Photo by Siegfried Modola/Getty Images)
  • Slide 33 of 126: Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration after the parliament was abruptly dissolved in Kathmandu on December 22, 2020. (Photo by Prakash MATHEMA / AFP) (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 34 of 126: KIEV, UKRAINE - 2020/12/22: Protesters march along the Streets during the demonstration.
Hundreds of protesters gathered to protest against the introduction of restrictive measures due to the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic. (Photo by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • Slide 35 of 126: Medical workers receive the first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines at The Institute of Virology, Vaccines and Sera "Torlak" in Belgrade, Serbia, December 22, 2020. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
  • Slide 36 of 126: TOPSHOT - People watch a Long March-8 rocket, the latest China's Long March launch vehicle fleet, lifting off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China's Hainan province on December 22, 2020. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 37 of 126: A Christmas tree with names of those who died during Beirut port explosion, is seen near the damaged grain silo, in Beirut, Lebanon December 22, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
  • Slide 38 of 126: A medical technician collects a nasal swabs sample to test for COVID-19 at a mobile testing site in Tunis, Tunisia, Tuesday Dec.22, 2020. The World Health Organisation has cautioned against major alarm over a new, highly infectious variant of the coronavirus that has emerged in Britain, saying this was a normal part of a pandemic's evolution. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)
  • Slide 39 of 126: MUGLA, TURKEY - DECEMBER 22: Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar visits Aksaz Naval Base Command to inspect the Tiger Claw 2020 military drill on site in Mugla, Turkey on December 22, 2020. (Photo by Arif Akdogan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • Slide 40 of 126: Secretary Ministry of Economic Affairs of Pakistan, Noor Ahmed (L) and Yves Manville (R), Deputy Head of Mission of the French embassy to Pakistan, exchange agreement copies of the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), in Islamabad on December 21, 2020.   (Photo by Farooq NAEEM / AFP) (Photo by FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 41 of 126: White House senior adviser Jared Kushner elbow bumps Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a news conference in Jerusalem December 21, 2020. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/Pool
  • Slide 42 of 126: ACCRA, GHANA - DECEMBER 21:  People shop at busy Kaneshi Market amid coronavirus (Covid-19) in Accra, Ghana on December 21, 2020. (Photo by Christian Thompson/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • Slide 43 of 126: LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: Britain's Prime Minister, Boris Johnson speaks during a virtual press conference inside 10 Downing Street after a string of countries banned travellers and all but unaccompanied freight arriving from the UK, due to the rapid spread of a new, more-infectious coronavirus strain on December 21, 2020 in London, England.  Countries around the world closed their borders to Britain on Monday in a race to contain a fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus as the European Union neared approval of its first jab for the bloc's vaccination campaign. British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson held a crisis meeting about the situation Monday, with particular concern about the disruption of goods from France, which imposed a 48-hour blockade on people and lorries crossing the English Channel. (Photo by Tolga Akmen - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
  • Slide 44 of 126: A Sri Lankan boy reacts as health officials take his nasal swab sample to test for COVID-19 outside a mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
  • Slide 45 of 126: Members of the Slovenian Cave Rescue Association dressed as Santa Clauses rappel down the glass facade of a paediatric hospital in Ljubljana, Slovenia, December 21, 2020. REUTERS/Borut Zivulovic
  • Slide 46 of 126: Nepalese policemen detain the human right activists during a protest against dissolution of parliament in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Nepal’s president dissolved Parliament on Sunday after the prime minister recommended the move amid an escalating feud within his Communist Party that is likely to push the Himalayan nation into a political crisis. Parliamentary elections will be held on April 30 and May 10, according to a statement from President Bidya Devi Bhandari's office. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
  • Slide 47 of 126: Candles are lit in memory of Hungary's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) victims in Budapest, Hungary, December 21, 2020. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo
  • Slide 48 of 126: JAKARTA, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 22: Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) poses for a photo with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi (R) prior to their meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 22, 2020. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • Slide 49 of 126: People wearing protective masks walk in the departure terminal of Cointrin airport, the day the Swiss government imposed a 10 days quarantine for travellers who have entered from Britain, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Geneva, Switzerland, December 21, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
  • Slide 50 of 126: People take pictures of an illuminated giant Christmas bear in a main commercial street of Athens, on December 21, 2020, as Greece celebrates Christmas season under lockdown, with closed shops and restaurants, while the government urges people to stay home and avoid family gatherings as the Covid-19 deaths and infectionon of the remain high. (Photo by LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / AFP) (Photo by LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 51 of 126: MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 21, 2020: Iran's Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh (L front) arrives for a meeting with Alexander Novak, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister. Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS (Photo by Anton Novoderezhkin\TASS via Getty Images)
  • Slide 52 of 126: TUNIS, TUNISIA - DECEMBER 21: A group of judges gather to protest against the government's agreement with the Tunisian Judges Association in front of the Justice Palace, in Tunis, Tunisia on December 21, 2020. (Photo by Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • Slide 53 of 126: Pope Francis receives Vatican employees for presentation of Christmas greetings, at the Vatican, December 21, 2020. Vatican Media/?Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
  • Slide 54 of 126: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gives a statement after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave the green light to European countries to start COVID-19 vaccinations in the coming days, following regulatory approval for the use of a shot jointly developed by U.S. company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, in Brussels, Belgium December 21, 2020.  REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Pool
  • Slide 55 of 126: People ice skate around the Christmas tree in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
  • Slide 56 of 126: Yoshiro Mori (L), President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, speaks during the opening remarks session of the Tokyo2020 Olympics Executive Board Meeting  in Tokyo, Japan December 22, 2020. Carl Court/Pool via REUTERS
  • Slide 57 of 126: ISTANBUL, TURKEY - DECEMBER 21: A drone photo shows traffic congestion at D-100 highway at Cevizlibag ahead of a general curfew imposed every weeknight from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. within new measures against a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Istanbul, Turkey on December 21, 2020. (Photo by Yunus Emre Gunaydin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • Slide 58 of 126: A girl along with others dressed in Santa Claus costumes attends a peace rally ahead of Christmas celebrations in Karachi, Pakistan, December 20, 2020. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
  • Slide 59 of 126: A blind Syrian teacher leads visually impaired pupils during a lesson, respecting social distancing amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a school for the blind in the rebel-held northwestern city of Idlib on December 20, 2020. (Photo by Ahmad al-ATRASH / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD AL-ATRASH/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 60 of 126: Muhammed Bello, a rescued student, is carried by his father as his relatives celebrate after he retuned home in Kankara, Nigeria, December 19, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
  • Slide 61 of 126: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the Security Agencies Worker's Day at the headquarters of the Foreign Intelligence Service in Moscow, Russia December 20, 2020. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
  • Slide 62 of 126: People wait in line to cross the Serbian border from Croatia, at Batrovci border crossing, Serbia, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020.  Balkan citizens going home from Western Europe for holidays have created huge traffic jams at border crossings despite coronavirus restrictions meant to discourage travel for Christmas and the New Year. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
  • Slide 63 of 126: SAN SEBASTIAN, BASQUE COUNTRY, SPAIN - 2020/12/20: Protesters march as they display a banner reading "Colonialist Morocco out of the Sahara" during the demonstration in San Sebastian.
Hundreds of people demonstrate in the streets of Basque Country against Morocco's expansionist policy, calling for freedom and Independence for Western Sahara. (Photo by Javi Julio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • Slide 64 of 126: TEHRAN, Dec. 20, 2020 -- People shop for Yalda Night at an old bazaar in Tehran, Iran, Dec. 20, 2020. Iranian families complete their preparations to celebrate Yalda Night on Sunday evening, while authorities reiterate calls to hold family meetings online this year to prevent the re-spread of COVID-19. Yalda Night, one of the oldest traditions in Iran, is to celebrate with family the longest night of the year. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz via Getty Images)
  • Slide 65 of 126: VILNIUS, LITHUANIA - DECEMBER 20: Police, military police and Lithuanian Riflemen's Union working on roadblock due to tighter quarantine rules, during the festive period from 16 December 2020 until 3 January 2021 travelling between municipalities is restricted, on December 20, 2020. (Photo by Paulius Peleckis/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • Slide 66 of 126: People dressed in Santa Claus costumes ride their motorbikes during Xmas Toy Run parade to rev up the holiday spirit and rally against child abuse, organised by Harley Santa Club, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan December 20, 2020.  REUTERS/Issei Kato
  • Slide 67 of 126: Medical teams celebrate before receiving coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines as Israel kicks off a coronavirus vaccination drive, at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital) in Tel Aviv, Israel December 20, 2020. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
  • Slide 68 of 126: Protesters from the Nepalese Students Union, which is affiliated with the opposition Congress party shout slogans during a demonstration after the parliament was abruptly dissolved in Kathmandu on December 20, 2020. (Photo by Prakash MATHEMA / AFP) (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 69 of 126: A medical worker wearing protective gear warms her hands in the sub-zero temperatures at a coronavirus testing site in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
  • Slide 70 of 126: Lebanese launch lanterns in Beirut's Gemmayzeh neighbourhood on December 20, 2020, during the lighting of a Christmas tree in memory of the victims of the devastating port blast in that took place in the capital's port in August. (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP) (Photo by ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 71 of 126: Men dressed as angels walk across the medieval Charles Bridge amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Prague, Czech Republic, December 20, 2020.   REUTERS/David W Cerny
  • Slide 72 of 126: Students wearing face masks as a precaution against coronavirus outbreak practice their moves during a ballet class at Rumah Karya Sjuman Art School in Tangerang, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. Indonesia has reported more than 600,000 cases of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
  • Slide 73 of 126: TOPSHOT - Newly elected Miss France 2021 Miss Normandie Amandine Petit reacts as she is elected Miss France 2021 at the end of the Miss France 2021 beauty contest at the Puy-du-Fou, in Les Epesses, western France, on December 20, 2020. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 74 of 126: A man participates in a competition organized by the Islamabad council for traditional sports and games, on the outskirts of Islamabad on December 19, 2020.  (Photo by Farooq NAEEM / AFP) (Photo by FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 75 of 126: Israeli Prime Minister Minister Benjamin Netanyahu receives a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel December 19, 2020. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/Pool
  • Slide 76 of 126: Mandatory Credit: Photo by AKINTUNDE AKINLEYE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (11613695c)
Members of a judicial panel of enquiry set up by the Lagos government sit during a session, after the military shooting to disperse the 'EndSars' protesters at the Lekki toll gate last October in Lagos, Nigeria, 19 October 2020. The military attack during a protest in October against police brutality in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos attracted unprecedented condemnation across the world. Although there has been a disagreement between security forces and  protesters of death after the shooting, it is expected that a judicial panel set up to look into the incident at Lekki and other police brutality would bring some clarity. But that has not yet happened.
Panel of Enquiry Over Police Brutality in Lagos, Nigeria - 19 Dec 2020
  • Slide 77 of 126: People walk along Via Del Corso street as the government prepares further restrictions over the Christmas period in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Rome, Italy December 19, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli REFILE - CORRECTING STREET
  • Slide 78 of 126: A woman casts her vote at a polling station during provincial elections in Chonburi province in Thailand, December 20, 2020. REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa
  • Slide 79 of 126: People visit Yerablur Military Pantheon cemetery on the day of the Armenian nationwide mourning for those killed in a military conflict over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh in Yerevan, Armenia December 19, 2020. Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure via REUTERS  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY
  • Slide 80 of 126: A woman wearing a protective face mask walks past Christmas decorations, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Ginza shopping district in Tokyo, Japan December 19, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
  • Slide 81 of 126: ISTANBUL, TURKEY - DECEMBER 19: A drone photo shows a view from empty Galata Bridge and surroundings after the general curfew imposed weekend-long from Friday 9 p.m. to Monday 5 a.m. local time within new measures against a second wave of the (coronavirus) COVID-19 pandemic begins, on December 19, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey. A Turkey-wide weekend curfew became effective on Friday as part of measures to stem a new coronavirus wave. (Photo by Muhammed Enes Yildirim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • Slide 82 of 126: Sudanese youths wave the national flag as they rally in the streets of the capital Khartoum, chanting slogans and burning tires, to mark the second anniversary of the start of a revolt that toppled the previous government, on December 19, 2020. - Frustrated by the lack of change in their daily lives, thousands of demonstrators, mostly young, marched in several towns in Sudan. (Photo by ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP) (Photo by ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 83 of 126: Afghan security personnel inspect the site of a bombing attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. The strong car bomb explosion rocked the capital Kabul city on Sunday morning, killing multiple people, said a government official. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
  • Slide 84 of 126: Migrants wait to disembark from a Spanish coast guard vessel, in the port of Arguineguin, to the south part of the island of Gran Canaria, in Arguineguin, Spain December 19, 2020. REUTERS/Borja Suarez     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
  • Slide 85 of 126: SOFIA, BULGARIA - DECEMBER 19: Hundreds of people dressed as Santa Claus take part in a Christmas ride on December 19, 2020 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Christmas Ride is an annual tradition for Sofia's motorcyclists. In previous years they would end the parade by bringing gifts to children in orphanages, this was not possible this year due to the Covid-19 restrictions. (Photo by Hristo Rusev/Getty Images)
  • Slide 86 of 126: Onlookers gather at the site of an accident after a train rammed into a passenger bus in Bangladesh's northern border town of Joypurhat on December 19, 2020. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 87 of 126: Saudi Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud attends a joint press conference with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 19, 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri
  • Slide 88 of 126: A woman casts her ballot during the local election at a polling centre in a school in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina December 20, 2020. Bosnia's ethnically divided southern town of Mostar holds its first local vote in 12 years, after rival Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) and Croat politicians reached a deal on the voting rules. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
  • Slide 89 of 126: A handout picture released by Press Information Department shows a delegation of Afghan Taliban led by Mullah Baradar Ghani talking with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan (C), in Islamabad, Pakistan, 18 December 2020. The Taliban delegation met on 18 December with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and the foreign minister to discuss the ongoing peace process in Pakistan's capital.
  • Slide 90 of 126: Members of the Lebanese Civil Defense erect a Christmas tree by Lebanese artist Hayat Nazer decorated with the uniforms of firefighters who were killed in the port explosion, in the Lebanese capital's harbour on December 18, 2020. (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP) (Photo by ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 91 of 126: TOPSHOT - Released students from the Government Science Secondary school, in Kankara, in northwestern Katsina State, Nigeria are led into the Government House upon their release on December 18, 2020. - More than 300 Nigerian schoolboys were released on Thursday after being abducted in an attack claimed by Boko Haram, officials said, although it was unclear if any more remained with their captors (Photo by Kola SULAIMON / AFP) (Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 92 of 126: Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong is seen exciting a Corrections department van after attending court at Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre on December 18, 2020 in Hong Kong, China. Wong was indicted for taking part in an unauthorised assembly over an anti-mask law protest.  (Photo by Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
  • Slide 93 of 126: TOPSHOT - A Boeing C-17 military transport aircraft of the Qatar Air Force performs during a military parade to mark Qatar's national day celebration, in the capital Doha on December 18, 2020. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 94 of 126: TOPSHOT - People push a half-submerged tricycle through a flooded street due to heavy rains caused by tropical depression Vicky in San Francisco town, Agusan del sur province on the southern island of Mindanao on December 18, 2020. (Photo by erwin mascarinas / AFP) (Photo by ERWIN MASCARINAS/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 95 of 126: Protesters chant slogans against Tunisian deputies outside the parliament building in the capital Tunis on December 18, 2020. - Dozens demonstrated in Tunis on December 18 to denounce "hate" and "violent" speech by certain deputies in Parliament, and demanding measures against them. (Photo by ANIS MILI / AFP) (Photo by ANIS MILI/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 96 of 126: A police officer wearing face mask to protect against coronavirus, check vehicles on a foggy evening at a roadblock near Vilnius, Lithuania, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. Lithuania tightens lockdown, to close shops, restrict movement as of Wednesday. The majority of shops, with the exception of those selling food, closed in Lithuania as of Wednesday as the country is tightening the existing lockdown. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
  • Slide 97 of 126: LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA - 2020/12/18: Protesters carry a figure of a large bicycle decorated with lights as a symbol of anti-government protest to a bridge over Ljubljanica river.
Amid growing instability in the government of Janez Jansa, the anti-government protests in Ljubljana continued. On Friday, protesters strung up a lighted bicycle, a symbol of protests, over the Ljubljanica River in the city center and strolled through the streets carrying banners.  In order to respect the covid-19 epidemic restrictions that are subject to very big fines the protest was small, but creative. (Photo by Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • Slide 98 of 126: Iraqi protesters gather at al-Habboubi square in the southern city of Nasiriyah in Dhi Qar province on December 18, 2020, to demand their legitimate rights and accountability for killings. (Photo by Asaad NIAZI / AFP) (Photo by ASAAD NIAZI/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 99 of 126: Israeli soldiers stop Palestinian protesters from reaching a Jewish settlers outpost, at the outskirts of the West Bank village of Mughayer, north of Ramallah, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. Palestinian protesters marched toward a Jewish settlers outpost, clashing with settlers who used dogs against them, before the Israeli army dispersed the protesters using teargas and rubber bullets following minor clashes. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
  • Slide 100 of 126: GAZIANTEP, TURKEY - DECEMBER 19: A view from the site after the explosion of oxygen equipment in COVID-19 intensive care unit of private hospital, in Turkey's Gaziantep on December 19, 2002. 8 killed in southeastern Turkey due to explosion of oxygen equipment in COVID-19 intensive care unit. Police officers, firefighters, ambulances were sent to the site. (Photo by Adsiz Gunebakan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • Slide 101 of 126: KIEV, UKRAINE - DECEMBER 18: Servicemen of National guard stand during a rally of representatives of small businesses the 'Save FOP' ("Save individual-entrepreneurs") amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, on December 18, 2020. Small businesspeople from all country gathered in Ukrainian capital to demand the abrogation of the amendments to a law about the simplified tax system, and against restrictive measures amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by Vladimir Shtanko/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • Slide 102 of 126: A Soyuz-2.1b rocket booster carrying the satellites of British firm OneWeb blasts off from a launch pad at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur Region, Russia December 18, 2020. Russian space agency Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
  • Slide 103 of 126: Workers stand inside a partially closed shop in the city of Buzios, a popular holiday destination in Brazil, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this seaside town is going into full lockdown starting on Friday, tourists have been given 72 hours to leave and roadblocks will stop non-residents from entering. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)
  • Slide 104 of 126: A member of the medical staff, wearing a mask for protection against the COVID-19 infection, scans a label on a refrigerator that will be used for storing COVID-19 vaccines, at the National Center for Storage of the COVID-19 Vaccine, a military run facility, in Bucharest, Romania, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. Romanian authorities plan to start COVID-19 vaccinations on Dec. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
  • Slide 105 of 126: A farmer carries his plough through a mustard field in Manikganj, on the outskirts of Dhaka on December 18, 2020. (Photo by Munir Uz zaman / AFP) (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 106 of 126: MINSK, BELARUS - DECEMBER 18, 2020: Belarus' Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko, Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko and Belarus' Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei (L-R) take part in a video conference meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) at the Palace of Independence. Maxim Guchek/BelTA/TASS (Photo by Maxim Guchek\TASS via Getty Images)
  • Slide 107 of 126: Nepalese Muslims offering Friday ritual prayer after nine months in mosque at Nepal Jame Masjid, Kathmandu, Nepal on Friday, December 18, 2020. Nepal government had decided to open masjid after nine months of closure. (Photo by Narayan Maharjan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
  • Slide 108 of 126: TOPSHOT - A man wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus, travels on a passenger bus in Karachi on December 17, 2020. (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP) (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 109 of 126: An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man lights candles to mark Hanukkah, the 8-day Jewish Festival of Lights, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Ashdod, Israel December 17, 2020 REUTERS/Amir Cohen
  • Slide 110 of 126: Demonstrators gesture as they gather to urge authorities to rescue hundreds of abducted schoolboys, in northwestern state of Katsina, Nigeria, December 17, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
  • Slide 111 of 126: French President Emmanuel Macron, tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is seen on a screen as he attends by video conference a round table for the National Humanitarian Conference (NHC) at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Paris, France, December 17, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Pool
  • Slide 112 of 126: People wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus take photos of a model of China's Chang'e 5 lunar orbiter and lander before a press conference at the State Council Information Office in Beijing, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Following the successful return of moon rocks by its Chang'e 5 robotic probe, China is preparing for future missions that could set the stage for an eventual  lunar base to host human explorers. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
  • Slide 113 of 126: European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, center, greets EU Special Representative for Balkan issues Miroslav Lajcak, left, next to European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi prior an EU-Serbia videoconference council at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool)
  • Slide 114 of 126: A subway train stands at a station in Frankfurt, Germany, on a foggy Friday morning, Dec. 18, 2020, when Germany reached a record high of new corona infections. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
  • Slide 115 of 126: Men wearing protective face masks amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic walk beside police officer on Qasr el-Nil bridge leading to Cairo's Tahrir Square, Egypt December 17, 2020. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
  • Slide 116 of 126: People stand at the entrance of the Church decorated with Christmas lights and decorations in the village of Bishtazhin on December 17, 2020. (Photo by Armend NIMANI / AFP) (Photo by ARMEND NIMANI/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 117 of 126: A worker disinfects a nativity scene display at a shrine amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Manila, Philippines, December 17, 2020. REUTERS/Lisa Marie David
  • Slide 118 of 126: Pyongyang citizens visit Mansu Hill to offer the bouquets of flowers to the bronze statues of their late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on the occasion of the 9th death anniversary of Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang, North Korea Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
  • Slide 119 of 126: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - DECEMBER 17: A general view of the illuminated Old Town Square with a Christmas tree in Prague, Czech Republic on December 17, 2020. From 18 December 2020, the whole of the Czech Republic is moving to a higher tier of measures, with bars and restaurants, hotels, indoor sports grounds and swimming pools closing. (Photo by Lukas Kabon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • Slide 120 of 126: People gather during a protetst in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Tunisia has marked 10 years since the revolution that erupted in the North African nation after a local fruit and vegetable seller set himself aflame in front of a government building to protest humiliation by police who seized his cartful of merchandise. The economically troubled region of Sidi Bouzid in central Tunisia where the self-immolation took place is still waiting a decade later to reap rewards from the uprising. (AP Photo/Riadh Dridi)
  • Slide 121 of 126: Residents wearing a facemask to contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, walk along a street decorated with umbrellas, in Kathmandu on December 17, 2020. (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP) (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 122 of 126: TOPSHOT - Russian President Vladimir Putin appears on a screen in a hall at the World Trade Centre's congress centre as he addresses his annual press conference via a video link from the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, in Moscow on December 17, 2020, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease pandemic. (Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP) (Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 123 of 126: The first Saudi citizen receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine (Tozinameran) speaks to reporters after its administration at a vaccination centre supervised by the health ministry in the capital Riyadh on December 17, 2020. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Slide 124 of 126: Women wearing protective masks talk to each other on a street, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia December 17, 2020. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng
  • Slide 125 of 126: Pedestrians wearing protective masks amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, make their way at a shopping district in Tokyo, Japan, December 17, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
  • Slide 126 of 126: ANKARA,TURKEY - DECEMBER 17: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi (L) hold a joint press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on December 17, 2020. (Photo by Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Slide 1 of 126: Christian devotees take part in a special service ahead of Christmas celebrations in Lahore on December 23, 2020. (Photo by Arif ALI / AFP) (Photo by ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images)Next SlideFull Screen1/126 SLIDES © Arif Ali/AFP via Getty ImagesDevotees take part in a special service ahead of Christmas celebrations in Lahore, Pakistan, on Dec. 23, 2020.

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets for months, believing that Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was the true winner, although in recent weeks protesters have held smaller gatherings to avoid arrest.

The United States has had sanctions in place since 2006 on Lukashenko, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, over a previous crackdown on his disputed reelection.

The European Union has taken fresh measures against Lukashenko and his son over the latest violence, including a freeze on their assets and visa bans.

Pompeo paid a rare visit to Belarus in January and spoke to Lukashenko by phone in October to secure the release of a detained US citizen. AdChoices

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