Thursday, July 13, 2006

Belarus Democratic Opposition Leader Alexander Kazulin Sentenced To Nearly Six Years In Prison For March Protests

"A regional court in Belarus today sentenced opposition leader Alyaksandr Kazulin to 5 1/2 years in prison for his part in a week of antigovernment demonstrations earlier this year, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Belarus Service reported.

Kazulin was a candidate in Belarus's March 19 presidential election.

The prosecutor had asked for a six-year sentence.

"We will now appeal this sentence to all [higher courts], and our only hope is international support and an international court, because I'm sure that in our country we will never obtain justice," Iryna Kazulina, Kazulin's wife, told RFE/RL's Belarus Service after the sentence was announced.

Earlier today, the judge ordered Kazulin and media removed from court. Kazulin's defense attorney described the proceedings as "a farce."

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty "Belarus Opposition Leader Sentenced" July 13, 2006

Democratic Opposition Candidate Kazulin (left) struggles with a Belarusian democracy manager at an opposition demonstration in Minsk on March 2, 2006

Photo credit: Agence France Press. With thanks.


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