Belarus court jails Nobel winner Bialiatski for 10 years

The pro-democracy activist is the founder of Viasna, the authoritarian country's most prominent human rights group. He says he is being targeted for political reasons.

Getty Images
Getty Images


A court in Belarus on Friday handed 2022 Nobel Prize winner Ales Bialiatski a 10-year prison sentence, his rights group said on Twitter.

The human rights activist went on trial earlier this year, accused of smuggling cash into Belarus to fund opposition activities.

In response to the decision, exiled Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has criticized the ruling, saying that the 60-year-old Bialiatski and two co-defendants had been sentenced in a "fake trial."

"We must do everything to fight against this shameful injustice and free them," she added.

Some 1,500 people in Belarus are in prison for political reasons, according to rights groups. Many of those behind bars have been arrested since the suppression of the 2020 protests which erupted after strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko declared himself president amid accusations of fraud from his opponents and the West.

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