In Belarus, Svetlana Tikhanovskaja, who probably won the presidential election in 2020, has been sentenced to a long prison term for high treason and conspiracies to seize power. Svetlana chose to go into exile in Lithuania during the protests that followed the election.
Her husband Sergei Tikanovsky was one of the leaders of the opposition to the incumbent dictator Lukashenko. He was arrested 2 days after he announced that he was running as a candidate for the 2020 presidential election. Sergei Tikanovsky was later sentenced to 18 years in prison . He is still under arrest in Belarus along with thousands of other opposition figures.
After her husband’s arrest, Svetlana Tikhanovskaja became a presidential candidate for the 2020 election. She became a leading figure for the entire opposition, which basically only had one thing in common. It was that dictator Lukashenko was to be removed.
The 2020 election was, like all previous elections in Belarus, without election observers. When the official results were available, Lukashenko had reportedly received 80% of the vote. This led to protests across Belarus that lasted for several weeks. Thousands of opponents of the current regime were arrested and thousands more chose to leave the country and seek asylum in other countries. So did Svetlana Tikanovskaya.
Svetlana Tikanovskaya and the opposition claim that the election was rigged and that Tikanovskaya won the election. This is also supported by several Western countries and human rights organisations.
Tikanovskaja has previously said that the trial against her is a farce. She says in a comment on today’s sentence that she does not think about her own sentence, but will continue to fight for all political prisoners in her home country.
Lukashenko the dictator uses all means
The incumbent dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko is using all means to hold on to his power. A few days ago, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022, Ales Bialiatski, was sentenced to a long prison term . We saw a couple of years ago a passenger plane being forced to land in Minsk by fighter jets from Belarus. The reason was that the plane was carrying a Belarusian oppositionist who lives in exile abroad.
Belarus is the only country in Europe that still has the death penalty. The death penalty in the country is not a dormant piece of legislation. It is also practiced.