Canada urges investigation of Belarus rights abuses.


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1Canada urges investigation of Belarus rights abuses .
2Canada said Tuesday it was `` deeply disappointed '' by the Belarussian government 's conduct in recent elections , urging an investigation of alleged rights abuses .
3`` The lack of transparency in vote counting and the limited access to state media for opposition candidates raise serious questions about the validity of the official result , '' Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said in a statement .
4`` Canada is also very concerned about the arrest of opposition candidates during the violent crackdown against demonstrators that followed the election .
5We condemn the use of violence and call on the authorities to release those who were unjustly arrested . ''
6Belarus jailed 600 demonstrators late Monday during a mass rally against the re - election of President Alexander Lukashenko , defying fierce Western condemnation of the bloody crackdown .
7Police officials said the protesters would be held for up to 15 days while prosecutors probed their alleged involvement in `` organizing mass disturbances '' -- a crime that carries a sentence of up to 15 years .
8`` Canada is deeply disappointed by the Government of Belarus 's conduct of the December 19 presidential election , '' Cannon said .
9`` We condemn the use of violence and call on the authorities to release those who were unjustly arrested . ''
10The top Canadian diplomat also urged Belarussian authorities to conduct `` transparent '' investigations into the violence .
11After the last presidential vote four years ago , Ottawa placed restrictions on Canadian exports to Belarus and increased tariffs on some Belarussian exports .
12Cannon warned Canada would uphold these restrictions on official contact and trade , as he urged the former Soviet republic to `` carefully '' study recommendations by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe 's International Election Observation Mission , which found the election was flawed .