Belarus: Regime jails top Lukashenko critic Babaryko for 14 years

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“A former challenger for the Belarusian presidency, Viktor Babaryko, has been sentenced to 14 years in jail. The former banker was found guilty of taking bribes and money-laundering — charges he says were fabricated to prevent him challenging Alexander Lukashenko in last year’s election. He is among the top opponents of Mr Lukashenko who have been either jailed or forced into exile. The UK and US governments condemned the prison term. ‘To us they are real people with real families, suffering real harm at the hands of a ruthless regime,’ the US embassy tweeted. The UK embassy said it would continue to stand up for the rights of Babaryko ‘and others in prison on trumped up political charges’. Western diplomats attended the trial. Babaryko, 57, cannot appeal against his sentence. His lawyer Dmitry Layevsky said he would still fight against the conviction and raise it with the UN Human Rights Committee.” (07/06/21)