Belarusian opposition activists sentenced to 14 to 18 years in prison

In Belarus, six political prisoners have been sentenced to 14 to 18 years in prison. After the longest sentence was handed to the husband of Belarus’s opposition leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, she voiced determination to continue the democratic struggle, British news portal The Guardian wrote, quoting Belarusian state news agency BelTA.
According to BelTA the sentences were pronounced on Tuesday, December 14, five supporters tried with Syarhei Tsikhanouski were jailed for 14-16 years, but Tsikhanouski was sent to 18 years in prison.
Tsikhanouski, a video blogger, was jailed in May 2020 as he prepared to run against the Belarus leader, Alexander Lukashenko, in that August’s presidential election. He denied the charges. His wife stood in his place in the election, which led to months of mass protests after Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory and the opposition accused him of rigging the ballot.
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On Tuesday, a few hours before the verdict was pronounced, Tsikhanouskaya called it «illegal» and something that «should not be tolerated».
«Commenting on the so-called ‘verdict’, I will ask myself only one question: what will I do with this news? And I will continue to defend the person I love, who has become a leader for millions of Belarusians,» she said in a video message as quoted by The Guardian. «I will try to do something very difficult, perhaps impossible, in order to bring closer the moment when we will see him in the new Belarus.»