Belarus: Regime court sentences exiled opposition leader to 15 years

Source: Seattle Times

“A court in Belarus on Monday sentenced exiled opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya to 15 years in prison after a trial in absentia on charges including conspiring to overthrow the government, the latest move in a months-long effort by the Belarusian government to suppress dissent. Tsikhanouskaya ran against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko in Aug. 2020, in an election that handed him his sixth term in office and was widely seen as rigged. The results of the vote triggered the largest protests in the country’s history. Lukashenko unleashed a brutal crackdown on demonstrators, accusing the opposition of plotting to overthrow the government, and Tsikhnouskaya left to Lithuania under pressure. Other key politicians and activists were either arrested or pressured to leave the country.” (03/06/23)