Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lukashenka Regime Planning Fully To Silence Democratic Opposition In Run Up To 2008 Clash With Russia Over Leadership Of 'Union State'

"Belarusian authorities have warned opposition leader Alyaksandr Milinkevich that he could be jailed for publicly criticizing President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Milinkevich said he was summoned by prosecutors today and warned about "discrediting" Belarus, a charge punishable by up to two years in prison.

Milinkevich says the warning was issued because of interviews he gave recently to the Polish newspaper "Rzeczpospolita" and to the BBC.

Prosecutors allege that in one of the interviews he implicated the Belarusian authorities in the death of a Polish diplomat in Belarus days after the March 19 presidential election, and in the other he spoke of vote-rigging in the poll.

Milinkevich was the main opposition challenger in the vote, in which Lukashenka was reelected to a third term. Both the opposition and Western nations condemned the election as fraudulent, and Milinkevich served 15 days in prison for participating in protests against the election result."

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty "Belarusian Opposition Leader Warned Over Criticism" May 22, 2006

Increasingly hounded by the Lukashenka regime, Belarusian Democratic Opposition Leader Alexander Milinkevich is trying to project his democratic message for Belarus both to the European Union nations and to the democratic forces in the increasingly authoritarian Russian Federation.

Photo credit: Agence France Presse via With thanks.


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