A court in Belarus sentenced on Monday two opposition politicians who played an active role in organizing protests against the results of the 2020 presidential election to lengthy prison terms, according to the state-run Belta news agency.
A Minsk court found Maria Kolesnikova and Maksim Znak “guilty” on charges of “attempting to seize power by non-constitutional means and forming an extremist group.”
The court supported the prosecutor’s charges, and ruled 11 years in prison for Kolesnikova, and 10 for Znak.
Protests broke out in Belarus after Alexander Lukashenko was declared the winner in the Aug. 9, 2020 polls, which the opposition accused of being rigged.
Opposition activists carried out demonstrations every weekend till December 2020, demanding Lukashenko, who won his 6th consecutive term, to leave office and amend the Constitution.
While Moscow has supported Minsk, Western states, citing crackdown on opposition figures, have imposed sanctions on the Eastern European country.
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