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Former Belarusian Presidential Candidate Gets Political Asylum In Britain

Andrey Sannikau ran unsuccessfully for president in the December 2010 election, and was among protesters beaten by security forces on election night.
MINSK -- Former Belarusian presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau reportedly has received political asylum in Britain.

Sannikau's wife, Iryna Khalip, who is in Minsk, confirmed the news to RFE/RL but declined to provide more details.

Sannikau's sister, Iryna Bahdanava, said her brother is currently living in her apartment in London.

Sannikau was an opposition candidate in the 2010 Belarus presidential election, officially finishing second behind incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

He was reportedly singled out among protesters on election night by truncheon-wielding police, and suffered two broken legs as a result.

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

He was pardoned and released in April.