March 28, 2023

Minsk courtroom convicts Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in absentia on prices of treason and conspiracy to grab energy.

Exiled Belarusian opposition chief Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has been handed a 15-year jail time period after being convicted in absentia of treason and conspiracy to grab energy, a verdict she says is punishment for her efforts to advertise democracy.

Tsikhanouskaya, 40, a former English trainer, fled to neighboring Lithuania in 2020 after working in opposition to incumbent Alexander Lukashenko in a presidential election, which official outcomes confirmed Lukashenko received by a landslide.

She and the opposition stated on the time that the outcomes had been doctored handy victory to Lukashenko. Anger on the official outcomes triggered wide-scale protests,

Lukashenko, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, unleashed a brutal crackdown on demonstrators, accusing the opposition of plotting to overthrow the federal government. Key opposition figures and activists have been arrested, and a few fled the nation.

Lukashenko has dominated Belarus for almost 30 years. In the course of the mass protests, his authorities detained greater than 35,000 folks.

The authorities put Tsikhanouskaya, the opposition’s de facto chief, on trial in absentia in January, accusing her and different opposition figures of making an attempt to grab energy in an unconstitutional method.

Belta, the state information company, stated a courtroom in Minsk had sentenced Tsikhanouskaya on Monday to fifteen years in a jail camp.

The identical courtroom handed an 18-year jail sentence to Pavel Latushko, a outstanding member of the Belarusian opposition council, and 12-year sentences to a few different activists convicted of being a part of the identical plot, Belta reported.

All of them left Belarus after the protests erupted in August 2020.

“15 years of jail. That is how the regime ‘rewarded’ my work for democratic modifications in Belarus,” Tsikhanouskaya wrote on Twitter.

“However in the present day I do not take into consideration my very own sentence,” she stated. “I take into consideration hundreds of innocents, detained & sentenced to actual jail phrases. I will not cease till every of them is launched.”

‘One massive KGB’

Tsikhanouskaya instructed The Related Press information company that her court-appointed lawyer hasn’t been in contact along with her as soon as throughout the trial and hasn’t responded to her requests to evaluation the case information.

She charged that the regulation and the justice system in Belarus not work and the state “has become one massive KGB”.

“The regime takes revenge on me and all Belarusians – it takes revenge for the truth that we selected freedom in 2020, for not resigning, not giving in, however persevering with to battle,” Tsikhanouskaya stated.

“If Lukashenko may, he would have jailed everybody,” she added.

Along with the jail sentence, Tsikhanouskaya was ordered to pay a positive of about $11,000.

Tsikhanouskaya was sentenced days later Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist Ales Bialiatski was sentenced to 10 years in jail by a courtroom in Minsk in a trial condemned by the West as a “sham”.

Rights activists estimate about 1,500 individuals are in jail in Belarus on politically motivated prices.

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