Ottawa [Canada], Aug 11 (ANI/Sputnik): The Canadian government is gravely concerned over the actions of the Belarusian authorities amid mass protests that erupted following the country's presidential election, Francois-Philippe Champagne, the Canadian Foreign Minister, said on Monday.
"Canada is deeply concerned by the actions of Belarusian authorities following yesterday's presidential elections which have reportedly left at least one person dead, seen many arrested and further eroded the democratic legitimacy of the vote," Champagne said in a statement.
The Foreign Minister urged the Belarusian authorities to respect human rights amid the escalated tensions.
"The people of Belarus have demonstrated their desire for democracy through their unprecedented mobilization over the past few weeks. Free, fair and inclusive elections are critical to any functioning democracy. Prior to the election, Canada had voiced its concern over the arrests of opposition candidates, prominent Belarusian bloggers and activists for participating in peaceful protests. We call on the government of Belarus to exercise restraint and uphold respect for human rights," the Minister stressed.
Belarus held its presidential election on Sunday with incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko winning 80.23 per cent of the vote.
The results sparked mass protests in the country, resulting in 3,000 people arrested. The campaign headquarters of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, another candidate, told Sputnik that it did not recognise the official results, saying that she had won about 70-80 per cent of the vote. (ANI/Sputnik)