Belarus opposition leader warns of border migration crisis
Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has called for the global community to stop a “humanitarian catastrophe” which she said is being created by the Belarusian regime as it facilitates largescale migration into the European Union.
Belarus opposition leader seeks new US, European sanctions
The leader of Belarus’ embattled opposition hopes the United States and Europe will impose new sanctions on money-making government enterprises that will lead to the collapse of President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime and a peaceful transition that pro-democracy supporters are preparing for because “it can happen very fast.”.
Belarus leader vows to keep up raids of NGOs, media outlets
The longtime leader of Belarus vowed Thursday to continue a crackdown on civil society activists he regards as “bandits and foreign agents.” President Alexander Lukashenko chided officials in his administration for allowing the operation of non-governmental organizations that he called “harmful to the state.” “A mopping-up operation is going on,” Lukashenko said.news.yahoo.com
Blinken meets Belarus opposition leader as criticism mounts
Secretary of State Antony Blinken met on Monday with Belarus’ main opposition leader as the United States steps up criticism of the government in Minsk for a widening crackdown on dissent following disputed elections last year. Blinken met with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya at the State Department to show support for her and other protesters demanding an end to repression. Tsikhanouskaya was President Alexander Lukashenko’s main challenger in the August 2020 election and was forced to leave the country after the polls that the opposition and the West saw as rigged.news.yahoo.com
Belarus expands crackdown on independent media
Authorities in Belarus raided the homes and offices of independent media outlets and civil society activists Friday, widening a crackdown on opposition in the ex-Soviet nation. The Belarusian Association of Journalists and the Viasna human rights center said authorities searched the apartments and offices of at least 31 journalists and activists in the capital of Minsk and seven other cities. “The authorities are using an entire arsenal of repressions against journalists — intimidation, beatings, searches and arrests,” Andrei Bastunets, the head of the journalists' association, said..news.yahoo.com
Belarus' presidential hopeful gets 14-year prison sentence
The highest court in Belarus convicted an aspiring rival to the nation's authoritarian president on corruption charges that he rejected as politically motivated and sentenced him Tuesday to 14 years in prison. Viktor Babariko, the head of a commercial bank owned by Russian natural gas company Gazprom, had hoped to challenge President Alexander Lukashenko last year, but he was arrested before the country's August 2020 presidential election and prohibited from registering as a candidate. At the time, he was widely perceived as Lukashenko's main rival, and his arrest drew thousands of protesters to the streets.news.yahoo.com
Belarus opposition slams dissident TV confessions as coerced
The Belarusian opposition said Friday a dissident journalist was coerced to appear in a video on state TV in which he wept and praised the country's authoritarian ruler, a broadcast sharply criticized by Western officials. In the 90-minute video broadcast Thursday night, Raman Pratasevich repented for his opposition activities and said he respects Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko as "a man with balls of steel.” Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the main opposition candidate in Belarus’ presidential election in August 2020, said she would urge the U.S. and the EU to pressure Belarus to release him.news.yahoo.com
Why Belarus Targets Critics in the Streets and Skies
Belarus has long pursued its president’s critics on the streets, and now it’s turned to the skies. For more than 26 years, President Alexander Lukashenko has maintained his hold on power in the East European country of 9.3 million people, putting thousands of opponents in jail or forcing them abroad. Riot police and sweeping arrests gradually stamped out large-scale street protests following his disputed election in August 2020 for a sixth term. In the latest extraordinary move, Belarus forced awashingtonpost.com
Belarus opposition leader in Slovenia before EU presidency
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya spoke during her visit to Slovenia, a small Alpine nation that is slated to take over the rotating presidency of the European Union in July. “It is extremely important to keep Belarus high in agenda on international level with our difficult fight for democratic changes,” Tsikhanouskaya said after a meeting with Slovenia's foreign minister, Anze Logar.news.yahoo.com
Belarus opens terrorism probe against opposition leader
FILE - In this Saturday, March 20, 2021 file photo, Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, right, poses for photos with demonstrators during a protest demanding freedom for political prisoners in Belarus at the Cathedral Square in Vilnius, Lithuania. Belarus authorities on Monday March 29, 2021, announced a criminal probe against Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the nation's top opposition figure, on charges of terrorism, a move that follows a sweeping police crackdown on protesters demanding the resignation of the country's authoritarian leader. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis, File)KYIV – Belarus authorities on Monday announced a criminal probe against the nation's top opposition figure on charges of terrorism, a move that follows a sweeping police crackdown on protesters demanding the resignation of the country's authoritarian leader. Belarus' Prosecutor General Andrei Shved said his office has launched a criminal investigation against Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the top opposition candidate who challenged President Alexander Lukashenko in a presidential vote in August. Earlier this month, Lithuania dismissed Belarus's demand to extradite Tsikhanouskaya, with the Baltic nation’s foreign minister saying that “hell will freeze over first.”
Hundreds arrested in Belarus 'Freedom Day' protest
People carry a giant historical flag of Belarus during a celebration 103rd anniversary of the declaration of the Belarusian People's Respublic, in Vilnius, Lithuania, Thursday, March 25, 2021. Freedom Day is an unofficial holiday in Belarus celebrated on 25 March to commemorate the declaration of independence by the Belarusian Democratic Republic on that date in 1918. The Thursday protest marked the anniversary of the 1918 declaration of the Belarus People's Republic, an independent state that lasted only a few months before the Red Army moved in. The opposition traditionally observes the anniversary as the country's unofficial Freedom Day. The arrests came a day after their leader, Andżelika Borys, was sentenced to 15 days in jail for holding unauthorized mass events.
Belarus journalist sentenced for report on protester's death
Belarusian journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich, seen in cage, attend a court hearing in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. On Tuesday, the Moskovsky District Court in Minsk sentenced Barysevich to six months in prison and a fine equivalent to $1,100. (Sergei Sheleg/BelTA Pool Photo via AP)KYIV – A court in Belarus on Tuesday handed a half-year prison sentence to a journalist on charges of revealing personal data in her report on the death of a protester, part of authorities’ crackdown on demonstrations against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. On Tuesday, the Moskovsky District Court in Minsk sentenced Barysevich to six months in prison and a fine equivalent to $1,100. Last month, two other journalists in Belarus were convicted of violating public order and sentenced to two years in prison after they covered an opposition protest.
Former presidential hopeful goes on trial in Belarus
Viktor Babariko, the former head of Russia-owned Belgazprombank, gestures a heart symbol sitting in a cage in a court room in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. Viktor Babariko, the former head of Russia-owned Belgazprombank, has been jailed since June on corruption and money-laundering charges. The 57-year-old Babariko could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted at the trial in the Supreme Court of Belarus, the country's highest. The president sought to cast Babariko's election bid as part of efforts by Belarus' main sponsor, Russia, to exert pressure on his government and try to weaken the country's independence. “That was deadly dangerous for Lukashenko.”But facing Western sanctions over the vote-rigging and the crackdown on protests, Lukashenko has come to rely increasingly on Moscow's subsidies and political support.
Belarus targets journalists, activists in new raids
Authorities in Belarus have raided the homes and offices of journalists and human rights activists. (AP Photo)KYIV – Authorities in Belarus raided homes and offices of journalists and human rights activists Tuesday in the latest move to squelch protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. Europe's top human rights envoy denounced the searches and detentions in Belarus as unacceptable. “This is an attempt to intimidate journalists and human rights activists who have been telling the world about the unbelievable scale of repressions,” said Viasna's deputy head Valiantsin Stefanovic. Tsikhanouskaya denounced the raids and detentions of journalists and rights activists, saying “the regime is unleashing repressions against those who are championing human rights.”The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demanded that Belarusian authorities stop the persecution of journalists.
Belarus leader vows to defeat foreign-backed 'rebellion'
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko delivers his speech to delegates of the All-Belarus People's Assembly in Minsk, Belarus, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. Belarus authoritarian leader has denounced six months of protests against his rule as a foreign-directed rebellion and vowed to resist the pressure, as he spoke at the All-Belarus Peoples Assembly. Lukashenko didn’t elaborate, but in the past several months, he has repeatedly accused the West of fomenting the protests. On Thursday, he said the West had incited the protests in Belarus as a “bridgehead” against Russia. Ad“It's deadly dangerous for Russia to lose Belarus,” Lukashenko said, adding that the two countries planned massive joint military drills later this year.
In winter's quiet, Belarus opposition prepares new protests
But opposition forces are preparing to turn up the heat in the spring and observers say Lukashenko doesn't have a clear strategy to overcome new unrest. But harsh actions by security forces have only temporarily muted the protests, Shraibman said. ___LUKASHENKO PLAYS FOR TIMEA $1.5 billion loan from the Kremlin and a promise to send in Russian security forces if Lukashenko requests them helped Lukashenko maintain control over the security forces and officials. During the period of mass protests, Lukashenko talked about “the decline of the presidential life” and possible resignation, but then he stopped such statements. The opposition aims to resume its mass actions on March 25, the anniversary of the 1918 declaration of a short-lived independent Belarus.
EXPLAINER: How Nobel Peace Prize nominations come about
Belarusian opposition figures, Hong Kong-pro-democracy activists, the Black Lives Matter movement, a jailed Russian opposition leader and two former White House senior advisers are among this years nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. There is no shortage of causes or candidates for the Norwegian Nobel Committee to consider for what arguably remains the world’s most prestigious prize. Here's a look at the Nobel nomination process:WHO CAN NOMINATE CANDIDATES FOR THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE? The U.N. World Food Program won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. The peace prize and other Nobel awards are presented to the winners on Dec. 10, the anniversary of founder Alfred Nobel’s death.
Decision on Belarus hockey worlds near amid sponsor pressure
DÜSSELDORF – DÜThe International Ice Hockey Federation will make a decision in the coming days on whether to pull its world championship from Belarus as pressure increases from sponsors over a crackdown on opposition groups in the country. “If we cancel the games in Minsk, I think we should make a decision until the end of the month. This is the maximum, as we have to choose another place where we can play the championship," IIHF president Rene Fasel told The Associated Press in a recent interview. Fasel met with longtime Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk on Monday, saying he wanted to use the tournament to build bridges between Lukashenko and the opposition. Fasel is due to step down as IIHF president later this year after 27 years in charge.
Belarus leader defends hosting hockey worlds, ridicules US
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko defended his country’s ability to host the ice hockey world championship on Monday by ridiculing the United States following the violent attack at the Capitol. The authoritarian leader met with International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel for talks amid calls to move the world championship following mass protests against Lukashenko’s rule. “In our country, protesters and other dissatisfied people don’t storm government agencies and capitols,” Lukashenko said. Authorities have cracked down hard on the largely peaceful demonstrations, the biggest of which attracted up to 200,000 people. Lukashenko has been president of the Belarus Olympic Committee since the 1990s and Fasel is an IOC member who previously sat on the executive committee.
Pro-democracy activists heartened by US system's resilience
Hong Kong police tightened their grip on the city's embattled democracy movement, making 53 arrests Wednesday. Lee faces charges of unlawful assembly for organizing a banned pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong last year. Exiled in London, Hong Kong activist Nathan Law says the U.S. system demonstrated its resilience against mob violence. But in Morocco, human rights activist Abdellatif El Hamamouchi was excited by what he saw as a stunning failure for Trump. —-Soo reported from Hong Kong; Leicester reported from Le Pecq, France.
Virus besets Belarus prisons filled with president's critics
He accused the government of allowing the virus to run wild among those jailed for political reasons. Liava was detained while he was covering a protest in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, for the independent Belsat TV channel. The day after he left prison, Liava said, he tested positive for COVID-19, and a CT scan showed that his lungs were badly affected. He said he and four of his colleagues who were arrested all contracted the virus in custody. “We must cry out loud about an outbreak of COVID-19 in jails overcrowded with political prisoners.”___Follow AP’s virus pandemic coverage at:https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemichttps://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccinehttps://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak