Belarus on Monday, March 6, sentenced exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya to 15 years in prison for spearheading historic protests against the ex-Soviet country's leader, state-run news agency Belta reported.
Tikhanovskaya, who was forced to flee to neighbouring EU-member state Lithuania after the protests sparked by a disputed presidential election in 2020, was sentenced in absentia on charges of high treason and "conspiracy to seize power."
She was sentenced alongside Pavel Latushko, a former Belarusian diplomat and culture minister turned opposition leader, who was handed an 18-year jail term, also in absentia.
The charges stem from massive anti-government demonstrations that broke out against Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko who claimed he had won a sixth presidential term.
Lukashenko, who has been in power for nearly three decades, is a key ally of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
The sentences came after Minsk on Friday handed a 10-year prison term to Nobel Prize winning rights activist Ales Bialiatski, a move that drew sweeping international condemnation.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter