Belarus court jails Nobel laureate Bialiatski for 10 years

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A court on Friday sentenced Belarus’ top human rights advocate and one of the winners of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize to 10 years in prison, the latest move in a yearslong crackdown on dissent that has engulfed the ex-Soviet nation since 2020.

The harsh punishment of Ales Bialiatski and three of his colleagues was delivered in response to massive protests over a 2020 election that gave authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko a new term in office.

Lukashenko, a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin who backed Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, has ruled the ex-Soviet country with an iron fist since 1994. More than 35,000 people were arrested, and thousands were beaten by police amid the protests, the largest ever held in the country.

Belarus is an outlier in its support of the year-old Russian invasion, with other countries in the region not backing Moscow publicly.

Bialiatski and his colleagues at the human rights center he founded were convicted of financing actions violating public order and smuggling, the center reported Friday.




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