TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — A Belarusian court on Friday sentenced Ales Bialiatski, Belarus’ top human rights advocate and one of the winners of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, to 10 years in prison.
Bialiatski and three other top figures of the Viasna human rights center he founded were convicted of financing anti-government protests.
They were arrested and jailed after massive protests over a 2020 election that gave authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko a new term in office. Lukashenko — in office since 1994 — has suppressed opposition and cracked down on independent news media.
The 2020 protests persisted for several months, the largest wave of protest to hit Belarus, and authorities took harsh action. More than 35,000 people were arrested, and thousands were beaten by police. The charges against Bialiatski and his colleagues were connected to Viasna’s provision of money to political prisoners and helping pay their legal fees.
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