New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans

Foreign Affairs

New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced.

The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of his Administration, the Electoral Commission, the police and other security forces.

“New Zealand has made it clear that the Lukashenko regime’s actions are unacceptable,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“New Zealand is joining our partners to prevent the granting of visas to specific individuals involved in these abuses.

“We have also expressed our strong concern about the forced landing of a Ryanair plane on 23 May and the arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich and his partner Sofia Sapega. We welcome the launching of an investigation into this incident by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

“The bans prevent targeted individuals from obtaining visas to enter or transit New Zealand. We will update and revise the list of those covered by the bans based on future developments.

“We continue to encourage Belarus to hold free and fair elections, and to uphold high standards of human rights,” Nanaia Mahuta said.