Pro-Democracy Activists in Belarus Sentenced to Prison

A group of pro-democracy activists in Belarus were sentenced to prison on May 25 over involvement in political demonstrations, according to local media reports.

Reports said Belarusian Christian Democracy party leader Paval Sevyarynets and European Belarus civil campaign coordinator Yauhen Afnahel were both sentenced to seven years in prison for “organizing mass riots.” Other defendants included activists, a blogger, and a Telegram channel administrator.

Protests erupted in Belarus in 2020 over the widely disputed re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has led the country since 1994.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty provided this footage and said it shows defendants chanting “Belarus will be free!” during the sentencing at a regional court in the city Mahilyou on May 25. Credit: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty via Storyful

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