The leading Belarusian opposition figure Siarhei Tsikhanouski was today sentenced to 18 years in Belarusian prison. Tsikhanouski, who was arrested in May 2020 shortly after announcing his candidacy for the presidency of Belarus, was convicted of “organizing mass unrest”, a sweeping claim put forward by the Lukashenka controlled court.
After the arrest of Tsikhanouski last year, his wife Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya replaced him as the leading opposition candidate in the presidential election. In a statement released today, shortly after her husband was sentenced to 18 years in prison, Tsikhanouskaya said: “The dictator publicly takes revenge on his strongest opponent. While hiding the political prisoners in closed trials, he hopes to continue repressions in silence. But the whole world watches. We won’t stop”.