Trial of Belarusian Nobel Peace Laureate Begins

Trial of Belarusian Nobel Peace Laureate Begins

Trial of Belarusian Nobel Peace Laureate Begins

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — A Belarusian court docket on Thursday started the trial of jailed human rights activist Ales Bilyatsky, a 2022 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Bilyatsky and two different high figures from the Vyasna Human Rights Middle, which he based, withstand 12 years in jail if convicted of financing anti-government protests.

Their arrests got here within the wake of mass protests sweeping the nation following 2020 elections that will give authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko a brand new time period in workplace. Lukashenko, in workplace since 1994, has suppressed the opposition and cracked down on impartial media.

The 2020 protests continued for a number of months, the biggest wave of protests to hit Belarus, and the authorities took drastic measures. Greater than 35,000 folks had been arrested and hundreds had been overwhelmed by the police.

The prosecution’s allegations are associated to Vyasna paying political prisoners and serving to them pay their authorized charges.

“This can be a political trial for a Nobel laureate, which has nothing to do with the legislation,” Vyasna’s lawyer, Pavel Sapelko, instructed The Related Press.

Bilyatsky was unable to attend the December Nobel Prize ceremony; His spouse gave an handle on his behalf.

He shared the Peace Prize with the Russian human rights group Memorial and the Middle for Civil Liberties of Ukraine.

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