Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko denied Monday that state repression exists in Belarus, while answering questions from local and foreign media. He also invited members of the public to ask questions during the press conference in Minsk.
“Using repressions in Belarus would be akin to shooting oneself,” Lukashenko said, as he faced questions about the violent crackdown on protesters following last year’s disputed presidential election.
In response to a question on repression and the imprisonment of political opponents, Lukashenko accused the US of “lawlessness,” citing the January 6 insurrection and invoking false claims about the US presidential election result.
His comments came on the same day that US President Joe Biden issued an executive order designed to financially target members of Lukashenko’s regime involved in the crackdown.
“Are you creating lawlessness in many parts of the world and talking to me about repression?” Lukashenko said.
“There was no repression on my part, no,” he continued.
Lukashenko also commented on recent CNN report concerning a possible prison camp for Belarusian political dissidents located an hour’s drive from Minsk. Lukashenko sarcastically told his press secretary to take CNN back to the camp for another look.
“A question from the CNN company, which recently discovered concentration camps in our country. Natalya Nikolaevna, take her to this camp of political prisoners and show her what they showed…Take Yura Voskresensky, he’s from the opposition, and you can see everything on your own, you can see this camp for political prisoners yourself,” Lukashenko said, referring to an opposition figure-turned-ally.