Belarus sentences exiled critic Tikhanovskaya to 15 years in jail


Belarus on Monday sentenced exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya to 15 years in prison for spearheading historic protests against the former Soviet country’s authoritarian leader.

Tikhanovskaya — who was forced to flee to neighbouring EU-member Lithuania after the protests sparked by a disputed presidential election in 2020, was sentenced in absentia on charges of high treason and “conspiracy to seize power”.

The state-run news agency Belta reported that she was on trial alongside Pavel Latushko, a former Belarusian diplomat and culture minister turned opposition leader, who was handed an 18-year jail term, also in absentia.

The charges stem from massive anti-government rallies that broke out against Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, who claimed he had won a sixth presidential term.

Tikhanovskaya, who had earlier described the trial as a “farce”, said in response to Monday’s verdict that she would continue to advocate for political prisoners detained in her authoritarian country.__Daily Times