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Wife: Sannikau Asks Lukashenka For Freedom

  • RFE/RL's Belarus Service

Jailed Belarusian politician Andrey Sannikau

Jailed Belarusian politician Andrey Sannikau

The wife of the jailed Belarusian presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau says Sannikau was "forced" to author a letter to authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka asking for his freedom.

It is not clear if Lukashenka has responded to the plea made by Sannikau in November.

Iryna Khalip, who visited her jailed husband on January 20, said in a statement on January 25 that Sannikau looked like “a man who had lived at least 10 years in Stalin’s camps.”

She said Sannikau passed her a note warning that he could be “killed at any time.” Sannikau was an opposition candidate in the controversial 2010 Belarus presidential election, officially finishing second behind Luakshenka.

He was arrested after the election and sentenced to five years' imprisonment on charges of organizing mass disturbances.