Is Lukashenko going too far? The passport ban that's outraging the world

Written by Henrik Rothen

Sep.08 - 2023 12:43 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
The passport ban that's outraging the world.

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In a move that has drawn international condemnation, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenko issued a decree that effectively prevents Belarusians living abroad from renewing their passports.

Under the new rule, citizens must return to Belarus to extend the validity of their travel documents, a requirement that has left many expatriates in a state of despair and fear of criminal repercussions.

The U.S. Department of State was quick to denounce Lukashenko's decision. Spokesperson Matthew Miller stated,

"This is a blatant disregard for the interests of Belarusians living overseas and a cynical violation of a country's responsibilities to its citizens abroad."

The statement, quoted by Reuters, emphasized that the decree serves only to further oppress and retaliate against Belarusians who have fled their homeland to escape a regime that punishes dissent.

The new regulation has far-reaching implications, affecting not just the individuals but also their families.

"This will not only make it difficult for families to secure citizenship and travel documents for their children, but it will also result in Belarusians abroad losing control over their properties and homes in Belarus," the U.S. Department of State warned in its statement.

The international community views this as another oppressive tactic by Lukashenko's regime, aimed at making life difficult for Belarusians who have sought refuge abroad.

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