Europe’s last dictator, Aleksandr Lukashenko, goes after presidential opponents & pro-democracy activists
Mikalay Statkevich, Andrei Sannikov and Dzmitry Vus all ran against Aleksandr Lukashenka last year in Belarus’ December 19th election.
Now they stand accused of
‘organizing mass riots’ … ‘accompanied by violence, pogroms, destruction of property and armed resistance to the authorities.’
They face up to 15 years in prison.
The trials are the latest in a series of prosecutions by Lukashenko targeting political opponents who responded to last December’s fraudulent election results with a peaceful political rally in Minsk on the night of the election.
The moscow times reported:
The police crackdown on the Minsk demonstration, in which hundreds of opposition activists and dissidents were rounded up, was condemned by rights groups and Western governments that said Lukashenko’s re-election was “flawed.”
The election handed Lukashenka, Europe’s last dictator, a fourth five-year term in office.
Halina Yuryna, a member of Sannikov’s election campaign, said:
“We did not come to Independence Square to stage some sort of riot… “We came there to celebrate our victory because we were sure that our candidate won the election and the real results had been tampered with by the authorities.”
“In any civilized country, citizens can easily express their thoughts and opinions through public gatherings, and that is what we did.”