“The dictator publicly takes revenge on his strongest opponents,” Tikhanovskaya tweeted. “While hiding the political prisoners in closed trials, he hopes to continue repressions in silence. But the whole world watches. We won’t stop.”
Kolesnikova was jailed for 11 years in September. Another of Lukashenko’s opposition rivals who announced plans to run in the election, Viktor Babariko, was jailed for 14 years in July.
Street protests broke out after Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, was declared the winner, in results rejected by the opposition. Facing the strongest challenge to his rule, he launched a brutal crackdown, which eventually succeeded in crushing the protests. Thousands of Belarusians have fled into exile.
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