Belarus Sentences Husband of Opposition Leader to 18 Years in Prison

MOSCOW—The husband of Belarus’s most prominent opposition leader was sentenced Tuesday to 18 a long time in prison, the most current shift towards ever more beleaguered opponents of authoritarian leader

Alexander Lukashenko.

Sergei Tikhanovsky,

43, a well known YouTube blogger and activist, was arrested a number of months just before very last year’s disputed presidential election, in which he had hoped to compete. His wife,

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya,

ran in place of her jailed husband and managed to rally a groundswell of supporters who believe she gained the vote. Ms. Tikhanovskaya fled the previous Soviet republic for Lithuania almost straight away just after the election, citing security fears for her children.

Weeks of protests followed the vote, which opponents accused Mr. Lukashenko of stealing, and they ended up achieved with a brutal crackdown from the country’s stability forces, who stay loyal to the Belarusian president.

A court docket in the city of Gomel in southeastern Belarus claimed Mr. Tikhanovsky was guilty of arranging mass riots, violence towards people, arson and destruction of house, amongst other costs. He—along with 5 associates sentenced with him to conditions amongst fourteen and 16 years—would also have to pay back the equal of much more than $1 million in damages to the condition, the prosecutor claimed.

Mr. Tikhanovsky’s sentencing, one of the longest in current periods towards a political opponent of Mr. Lukashenko, comes as the Belarusian leader faces criticism from European leaders who have accused him of encouraging 1000’s of migrants to travel to Belarus and try to cross the border into Poland as retribution for European sanctions towards his regime. Mr. Lukashenko has rejected the allegations that he induced a migration crisis.

Given that leaving the region, Ms. Tikhanovskaya has embarked on diplomatic tours, urgent the U.S. and Europe to maximize stress on the Belarusian leader, who has continued to strike a defiant be aware, scoffing at Western penalties and vowing in no way to cede electric power to his political opponents, whom he has dismissed as overseas-backed agents.

On Tuesday, Ms. Tikhanovskaya sounded resolute, adhering to information of her husband’s penalty.

“The dictator publicly usually takes revenge on his strongest opponents,” she tweeted. “While hiding the political prisoners in shut trials, he hopes to carry on repressions in silence. But the full environment watches. We won’t quit.”

Supporters of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya believe she gained very last year’s presidential election in Belarus Ms. Tikhanovskaya confirmed a image of her husband, Mr. Tikhanovsky, in the Czech parliament in June.


roman vondrous/Agence France-Presse/Getty Photos

The opposition leader claimed it was vital for all of Belarus’s political prisoners to know that “the worldwide local community stands with them,” and she termed for the rapid release of “all innocent individuals.”

Viasna, a nongovernmental human-legal rights group in Minsk, claimed that almost 900 political prisoners ended up being held in Belarus as of Dec. 1.

They consist of Belarusian activist

Maria Kalesnikava,

who in September was sentenced to 11 a long time in prison on a wide variety of costs, such as plotting to oust Mr. Lukashenko.

Ms. Kalesnikava, who was at the time the very last principal opposition voice continue to in the region, had served as a member of the Countrywide Coordination Council, a panel that opposition leaders formed very last calendar year to assist transfer electric power to a new authorities just after the disputed presidential vote.

Her colleague

Maxim Znak

was at the same time sentenced to ten a long time in a large-stability prison.

“Every political prisoner is a shame for the Lukashenko regime, but our pride…cannot be damaged,”

Pavel Latushko,

a previous Belarusian ambassador now primarily based in Poland heading Countrywide Anti-Disaster Management, an opposition local community, claimed in a video Tuesday. “Our will to be cost-free can not be taken away. We will fight. Belarus and Belarusians will be cost-free,” he claimed.

Produce to Ann M. Simmons at [email protected]

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Appeared in the December 15, 2021, print edition as ‘Husband of Belarus Opposition Leader Receives 18 Many years in Prison.’