A court in Belarus has sentenced 14 people to stiff prison terms for taking part in "mass disorder" amid nationwide protests against the disputed results of last year’s election.
A court in the western city of Brest on April 30 sentenced the defendants to between 5 ½ and 6 ½ years in prison in a widely watched case over their participation in rallies in the city of Pinsk. Most of those sentenced in the Pinsk case were accused of throwing objects at police and destroying property.
The Vyasna human rights monitor categorizes the 14 as political prisoners.
The rallies in Pinsk were part of mass demonstrations that swept across Belarus in the wake of an August election that gave authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka a sixth consecutive term.
Tens of thousands have since been detained, hundreds beaten, several killed, and media quashed in a crackdown that has forced most leading opposition figures into exile.
The Belarusian opposition, the EU, and the United States consider the election fraudulent and don’t recognize the results.
Belarus Court Gives 14 People Long Prison Terms For 'Mass Disorder'
The View From Finland: 'The Russian Garrisons Have Been Emptied. They Don't Have Anything'2
In Rare Display Of Dissent, Lawmakers In Russia's Far East Urge Putin To Stop Ukraine War3
The 'Deadly Fruit' Of Ukraine's Battlefields4
Amid Rising Russian Threat, Moldova Mulls Scrapping Neutrality5
Moscow Throws Massive Resources Into Offensive; Ukraine Grain Exports Under Strain6
Interview: Can Russian Forces Encircle Ukraine's East?7
Canada Soccer Cancels Game Against Iran Amid Criticism After Deadly Downing Of Plane8
Ukrainian Officials Describe Intensity Of Battles In East As Russia Ties Unblocking Of Ports To Sanctions Relief9
Former NATO Commander Wesley Clark Explains What Ukraine And The West Need To Do To Beat Russia10
Moscow Offers Safe Passage Of Ukrainian Food Exports In Exchange For Easing Of Sanctions