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    Poland criticizes Belarusian court’s draconian verdicts

    The government of Poland has expressed its disapproval of the Belarusian court’s decision to give Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Pavel Latushko prison sentences of 15 and 18 years, respectively.

    The sentences for Tsikhanouskaya and Latushko were issued without their presence in court as they had both left Belarus to avoid further harassment from Alexander Lukashenko, the president of the country.

    “The draconian verdicts in absentia for the leaders of democratic Belarus Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Pavel Latushka, Volha Kavalkova, Syarhei Dylevsky and Maria Moroz mock the law. Authorities in Minsk will not deter Belarusian society or its aspirations for freedom and democracy,”

    Łukasz Jasina, spokesperson for the Polish foreign ministry, wrote on Twitter.

    Tsikhanouska gained global recognition for taking part in the 2020 presidential poll in Belarus. She was reportedly the victor over Lukashenko. Nevertheless, the official vote count gave Lukashenko the win with more than 80% of the votes.

    “15 years of prison. This is how the regime “rewarded” my work for democratic changes in Belarus. But today I don’t think about my own sentence. I think about thousands of innocents, detained & sentenced to real prison terms. I won’t stop until each of them is released,”

    Tsikhanouskaya wrote on Twitter.

    “Thankful to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for your support. The Belarus regime’s shameless acts won’t be able to break the strong friendship between the people of our countries,”

    she wrote later. 

    The election result, thought to be tampered with by many, sparked huge protests in the nation, but the security forces fiercely put down the gatherings.

    Piotr Latushko, who is connected to Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya, was the Minister of Culture in Belarus prior to the present.

    “Lukashenko’s court today sentenced me to 18 years in a high-security prison. Lukashenko, I will not stop. President-Elect Tsihanouskaya was sentenced to 15 years. Sviatlana, together with our fellow Belarusians we will continue to fight,”

    Latushko wrote on Twitter.

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