Belarus opposition leader sentenced to 18 years in prison

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In September, Maria Kolsnikova, one of the leaders of the opposition movement, was sentenced to 11 years in prison following the election.

In a video report released just hours before the verdict, Mr. deported from Lithuania. Ms. Dikanovskaya, who led the movement against Lukashenko, vowed to “continue to protect the person I love who has become a leader for millions of Belarusians.” He added, “In order to bring closer the moment we see him in the new Belarus, I will try to do something very difficult, perhaps impossible.”

Mr. Dikanovsky launched his blog in 2019. He released videos in which he mocked the country‚Äôs Soviet-style Botemkin window dressing and exposed widespread poverty. In his most popular video, he interviewed a woman in the small town of Gluboko, in which she met Mr. He called Lukashenko “the so-called president” and “the cockroach.”

He acknowledged that dictatorial governments in countries such as China, Egypt and Iran were trying to suppress dissent through the courts. Dikanovsky is imprisoned. On Monday, a court in Hong Kong sentenced former media chief Jimmy Loy and seven key pro-democracy activists to several months in prison for attempting to commemorate the 1989 crackdown on peaceful protesters in Tiananmen Square.

In Egypt, a court last month convicted a prominent human rights lawyer and lawyer of spreading false news and insulting the government as part of an effort to silence a growing list of activists, journalists and protesters.

In Belarus, Mr. Lukashenko has gone even further. Not only did he prevent dissent within the country, but he also launched a campaign to destabilize his country’s European neighbors. In May, he intercepted a commercial plane carrying a commercial plane from Athens to Vilnius, Lithuania, and forced it to land in Minsk.

By encouraging thousands of migrants from the Middle East to come to Belarus, he has organized a series of international crises and used its territory to cross the border into the European Union, which has been described as a hybrid war by Poland and Lithuania.

Monica Bronch Contributed report from Brussels.

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