The UK has refused to accept the result of the Belarus presidential election as protests continued against the rule of Alexander Lukashenko.
Demonstrators have repeatedly taken to the streets since the August 9 election which saw Mr Lukashenko claim victory but has been condemned as rigged by critics at home and abroad.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the vote was “fraudulent” and condemned the violence from the Belarusian authorities as they attempted to crack down on the protests.
Mr Raab’s comments come three days after the European Union said it did not recognise the results.
The violence against peaceful protesters in Belarus is appalling. The UK does not accept the results of this fraudulent Presidential election & calls for an urgent investigation through @OSCE into its serious flaws & the grisly repression that followed. https://t.co/VPJ4yrTCXZ— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) August 17, 2020
The Foreign Secretary called for an independent investigation by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
He said: “The world has watched with horror at the violence used by the Belarusian authorities to suppress the peaceful protests that followed this fraudulent presidential election.
“The UK does not accept the results.
“We urgently need an independent investigation through the OSCE into the flaws that rendered the election unfair, as well as the grisly repression that followed.
“The UK will work with our international partners to sanction those responsible, and hold the Belarusian authorities to account.”
Mr Lukashenko has ruled the ex-Soviet nation with an iron fist since 1994, repressing opposition figures and independent news organisations.
He has rejected any possibility of repeating the vote that gave him a sixth term, lashing out at the West and declaring his country will “perish as a state” if the election is rerun.