[JURIST] The European Union on Monday approved a travel ban [PDF press release] on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko [official website, BBC profile] and 30 other top government officials in response to his government's crackdown on political protesters [JURIST report] following the widely criticized March 19 elections [JURIST report]. The ban was first debated last week [JURIST report], when the European Parliament adopted a resolution [press release] calling Lukashenko "the last dictator in Europe."
The visa ban will prevent Lukashenko and his officials from entering the 25 EU countries. Similar restrictions have also been imposed on the heads of state of Zimbabwe and Myanmar, but this is first time a travel ban has been imposed on the leader of a neighboring country. EU officials stressed that the ban is meant to target the Belarus leadership rather than its people. AP has more.
4:59 PM ET - The Belarus Ministry of Foreign Affairs [official website] called the EU decision and a similar move by the US [press release] "uncivilized," saying it would impose "reciprocal measures" against EU and US officials [press release]. AFP has more.