Yesterday, Lukashenko’s regime reached a new low in its attempts to silence those who stand up in defence of the fundamental freedoms of the people in Belarus and challenge his illegitimate regime. Five prominent representatives of the Belarusian democratic opposition in exile were sentenced to long and unjustified prison sentences, in absentia and in closed trials.
Leader of the Belarusian pro-democratic forcesSviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Coordination Council members Pavel Latushko was sentenced to 18 years, and Maryya Maroz, Volha Kavalkova and Siarhei Dylevski were each sentenced to 12 years of prison. They were targeted just for standing up for democratic rights and justice, asking for free and fair elections.
The EU condemns these absurd sentences, which were built on fabricated charges of treason, extremism, conspiracy and incitement to hatred. This is another deplorable example of the ongoing travesty of justice and political misuse of judiciary by Lukashenko.
The EU will continue to support all those who courageously stand up for an independent and democratic Belarus, and is ready to take action in response to continued outrageous bulldozing of the rights of its population.