Minsk: A female opposition leader in the Eastern European country of Belarus was sentenced to 15 years in prison for treason.
According to foreign media reports, a court in Belarus has sentenced 40-year-old Svetlana Tekhanovskaya, the country’s main opposition leader, to 15 years in prison in her absence.
Svetlana fled the country after running in the 2020 presidential election, and was put on trial in January on charges of high treason and conspiracy to seize power.
Reacting to the court decision, the exiled opposition leader Svetlana said that the government has rewarded my work for democratic changes in Belarus in the form of fifteen years in prison.
Svetlana ran against dictator Alexander Lukashenko in the presidential election, which she is widely believed to have won.
Svetlana, a former English teacher, fled to neighboring Lithuania after running in the election, where official election results showed Lukashenko won by a landslide.
At the same time, Svetlana and other opposition leaders said that the official results had been prepared to give Lukashenko a victory. Lukashenko, who rules Belarus, launched a brutal crackdown on protesters, accusing the opposition of plotting to overthrow the government. Meanwhile, important opposition figures and activists were arrested, but some leaders fled the country.