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Belarusian opposition figure sentenced to 18 years at high-security penal colony

After a trial that took place largely behind closed doors, Tikhanovsky was convicted on charges including “organizing mass riots” and inciting social hostility, which critics say were politically motivated. Three others were also found guilty and handed prison terms of more than a decade.

Authorities alleged Tikhanovsky called for violence against the government and law enforcement, according to BelTA. The verdict can be legally appealed within 10 days.

Tikhanovsky, a popular blogger and activist, was arrested shortly after he declared his candidacy for president in May 2020.

His wife stood in his place, but went on to lose the disputed contest against Alexander Lukashenko, the strongman leader who has ruled Belarus for more than 25 years, in August that year. Her campaign and many international observers claimed the vote had been marred by widespread ballot stuffing and falsifications….

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