The German EU ambassador to Belarus, Dirk Schuebel, has left his post in Minsk under sharp criticism. The authorities under ruler Alexander Lukashenko no longer extended the visa and accreditation, as the diplomat announced on Facebook on Monday evening. The 64-year-old, who had led the mission since 2019, criticized "blatant violations of human rights and international law" after the 2020 presidential election, which was rigged and accompanied "by constant violence against innocent people".
Schuebel announced that there are now more than 1,340 political prisoners in Belarus whose immediate and unconditional release the EU is demanding. In particular, he also demanded that imprisoned human rights lawyer Ales Byaljazki be released and receive the Nobel Peace Prize announced on Friday.
The Russian human rights organization Memorial and the Ukrainian civil rights center Center for Civil Liberties also received the award this year.
The EU no longer recognizes Lukashenko as president and supports the democracy movement around exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaya. She is considered by many people in Belarus to be the winner of the August 2020 election. Schuebel himself announced that he would take care of the EU's Eastern Partnership program in the future. Civil societies are also to be strengthened in former Soviet republics such as Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia.