Friday, July 14, 2006

Imprisoning opponents in Belarus

Back in March, I wrote three posts on the Belarusian presidential election and its aftermath: "Balloting in Belarus," "Balloting in Belarus (update)," and "Protesting in Belarus".

Well, it looks like Belarus has gone from voting to protesting to, now, imprisoning political opponents. Alexander Lukashenko may have "won" the election with over 80 percent of the vote, but such a "democratic" victory apparently isn't good enough for him. Only tyrannical rule will do. Here's the BBC:

Alexander Kozulin, one of two opposition candidates to run against Mr Lukashenko, was jailed for five and a half years at a court in Minsk.

He was convicted of hooliganism and incitement to mass disorder.

Well, they could have accused him of anything. This was about silencing all opposition, about punishing anyone who would dare challenge Lukashenko's rule, nothing else. It's Kozulin here, but no opponents are safe -- see here.

That's just the way it is in Belarus. Nice, eh?


On a related note, going back to May, to a story that I overlooked, "[t]he European Union has carried out its threat to freeze any assets held in the EU by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and 35 of his top aides".

Yes, the election was surely "rigged". There's Belarusian democracy for you.

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