Italy on Monday urged respect for civil rights and democracy in Belarus, whose president Alexander Lukashenko is suppressing protestors who accuse him of rigging the country's 4 August election to extend his 26-year rule.
"We cannot ignore legitimate, peaceful and extremely civil protests that have been calling for democracy for days," deputy foreign minister Emanuela Del Re tweeted.
"It is unacceptable that Lukashenko has responded with arrests and repression. The European Union does not recognise the election results and with Italy asks for respects for civil rights and the democratic process," the tweet added.
At least 140 arrests were made on Sunday, when for the third week in a row tens of thousands of protesters faced off with riot police in Minsk.
A day earlier, authorities withdrew the accreditation of 17 journalists, mainly Belarusian citizens who had been working for foreign media outlets. Four Moscow-based reporters working for US and German media were deported to Russia.