Ales Bialiatski, Nobel Laureate Sentenced Prison for 10 Years in Belarus

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Ales Bialiatski, a Belarusian human rights activist and Nobel laureate, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Belarusian authorities. Bialiatski, who is the head of the Viasna Human Rights Centre in Belarus, was convicted of tax evasion in a trial that was widely criticized as politically motivated.

Bialiatski has been a vocal critic of the Belarusian government for many years and has been a leading figure in the country’s pro-democracy movement. He has been arrested and jailed several times in the past for his activism, but this is his longest prison sentence to date.

The trial of Bialiatski has been widely criticized by human rights organizations and international governments. The trial was conducted in a closed-door session, and Bialiatski’s lawyers were not allowed to present evidence in his defense. The charges against him were based on allegations that he had evaded taxes by receiving funds from foreign sources.

Bialiatski has denied the charges against him and has maintained that the funds he received were used for legitimate human rights work. The United Nations and the European Union have both condemned the conviction of Bialiatski and called for his immediate release.

The conviction of Bialiatski is seen as a part of a wider crackdown on dissent in Belarus, where President Alexander Lukashenko has been in power since 1994. Lukashenko has been accused of rigging elections and suppressing political opposition, and his government has been accused of numerous human rights abuses.

In recent months, there has been a wave of protests in Belarus following the disputed presidential election of 2020. The election was widely seen as rigged, and Lukashenko was declared the winner with over 80% of the vote. The opposition, led by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, rejected the results and called for new elections.

The protests in Belarus have been met with a brutal crackdown by the government, with thousands of people arrested and many more beaten and tortured. The government has also targeted journalists and human rights activists, with many being arrested or forced into hiding.

The conviction of Bialiatski is seen as a clear message to the opposition and to anyone who dares to speak out against the government. It is also seen as a warning to the international community, which has been calling for an end to the repression in Belarus.

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