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    Duda says verdicts on opposition leaders confirm that Belarus is a regime

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    President Andrzej Duda of Poland declared that the Minsk regime has been demonstrated by the Belarusian court’s sentencing of opposition leaders Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Pavel Latushko to 15 and 18 years in prison, respectively.

    “The regime which has been conducting a policy aimed at enslaving its own people,” Duda said during his visit to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.

    “This is another verdict showing that there is no freedom in Belarus, that this is an authoritarian country where the authorities have no social legitimacy,” the president told reporters.

    In absentia, both sentences were imposed. Prior to this, Tsikhanouskaya and Latushko had departed from Belarus to evade further oppression from Alexander Lukashenko’s administration.

    World attention was drawn to Tsikhanouskaya upon her participation in Belarus’s 2020 presidential election, with many claiming she had defeated incumbent Lukashenko. Contrary to these reports, the official exit polls indicated that Lukashenko had won the election with well over 80 per cent of the vote.

    Commonly believed to have been rigged, the election result provoked massive demonstrations across the country, only to be cruelly repressed by the security forces.

    Latushko, a close associate of Tsikhanouskaya, is a former Belarusian diplomat and culture minister.

    The verdicts, as stated by the Polish president, attest to the fact that a regime is in power that has put down social protests that asked for a fair presidential election.

    He declared that the regime in question imposes sentences on those who courageously describe the state of their homeland and that Poland does not accept this.

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