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Belarus’s Lukashenka signs law to strip ‘extremist’ Belarusians who flee country of citizenship

Alyksandar Lukashenko, the winner of the 2020 Belarusian presidential election according to the national election commission, has signed a law that paves the way for authorities to revoke citizenship for those Belarusians who are found guilty of “extremism” or causing “serious harm” to Belarus but have left the country, the politician’s office reports.

“There is also a possibility of loss of Belarusian citizenship acquired by birth: in case of a valid verdict of a Belarusian court confirming the participation of this person in extremist activities or causing serious harm to the interests of Belarus if this person is outside the country,” the law reads.

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Earlier, Mediazone.Belarus joined forces with Kristina Rikhter, a lawyer for the office of ex-Belarusian presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, to explain a few articles of the law. According to the activist, when a person’s citizenship is revoked, the Belarusian passport becomes invalid for travel reasons in particular. According to Rikhter, many countries view people without citizenship as foreigners.

According to the Belarusian Interior Ministry, 2,263 people were listed as those involved in extremist activities as of late December. In the past month, 204 new “extremists” were added to the list in the past month, Viasna Human Rights Centre clarified.

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