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