Dzmitry Shautsou, the head of the Red Cross in Belarus has been added to the 13th package of EU sanctions against Russia for contributing to Russia’s forcible transfer of Ukrainian children from the occupied territories. Lukashenko's regime is accused of taking more than 2,400 Ukrainian children to 13 facilities in Belarus, according to a study by Yale University.

Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) had denounced him in its Written Statement addressed to the 54th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (Sep. 11 – Oct. 13, 2023) and also in various reports about the forcible transfer of Ukrainian children by and to Russia.

Three other Belarusians were also blacklisted for child deportations: Dmitriy Demidov, Aleksey Talai, and Olga Volkova.

Dmitriy Demidov, a municipal chief in the Vitebsk region of Belarus, was one of the ’key persons involved in the forcible deportation of Ukrainian children to Belarus and their subsequent illegal adoption by Russian and Belarusian families.’

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Who is Dzmitry Shautsou?

Shautsou is a Belarusian physician and politician. He started to serve as head of the Belarus Red Cross on 10 June, 2021. He previously served as a deputy of the House of Representatives from 2012 to 2019. Shautsou has raised controversy as head of the Belarus Red Cross for referring to homosexuality as ‘perversion’ and ‘psychological retardation’ and for approving the forcible transfer of thousands of Ukrainian children from the occupied territories by Russia.

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As general director of the Belarus Red Cross, he visited ‘children from Ukraine in both Belarus and Russia-occupied Ukraine, wearing pro-Russia military apparel.

During the controversial 2019 Belarusian parliamentary election, Shautsou was the head of the Minsk Electoral Commission. After protests broke out, he defended the results, accusing protesters of being "provocateurs.

In June 2022, he visited Mariupol during the Russian siege of the city, wearing a military uniform bearing the Z symbol used by Russian pro-war authorities. On 21 July 2023, he triggered further controversy by expressing his support for the deployment of nuclear Weapons to Belarus.

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The Belarus Red Cross (BRC) was suspended from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on Dec. 1, 2023 after it refused to fire Shautsou. One can wonder why the IFRC took so much time to clean up its institution.

In early October 2023, he was included in the sanctions list of the Baltic States.

On Dec. 5, 2023, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control added Shautsou to its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List.

See the original article by Willy Fautré on the HRWF site here.

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