Belarus top prosecutor vows to bring opposition protestors to trial

[JURIST] The Belarus prosecutor general said Wednesday that there will be many trials for opposition supporters who protested the country's presidential elections [JURIST report] earlier this month. Pyotr Miklashevich indicated that over 500 protestors, including 21 foreigners, were detained for their part in protesting the reelection of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko [official website] during police raids on the demonstrations [JURIST report] last week. Miklashevich said that defeated opposition candidate Alexander Milinkevich [campaign website; Wikipedia profile] may also be charged with a misdemeanor for planning the protests, which would result in a sentence of 15 days in jail if he is found guilty.

Human rights advocates have estimated that the number of imprisoned protestors is closer to 1,000 and have been speaking out against conditions at one of the jails, where they say 20 prisoners have begun a hunger strike [JURIST report]. The US and the European Union [official website] have denounced the March 19 election as undemocratic and said they would seek sanctions [JURIST report] against President Lukashenko. The NATO [official website] alliance also said Wednesday that it was reconsidering its affiliation [NATO press release] with Belarus [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], while a UN human rights team called for the names and locations [press release] of all those being held in connection with the protests. AP has more.



 

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