The European Union has strongly condemned the sentencing by the Lukashenka regime of Siarhei Tsikhanouski, a blogger and pro-democracy activist and husband of exiled opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, and five other prominent political prisoners.
According to a press release issued by the European Union External Action service on 14 December, all six prisoners received “unfounded and harsh sentences” ranging between 14 and 18 years on “dubious charges of ‘preparation of mass disorder’ and ‘incitement to hatred’ in a trial behind closed doors”. Siarhei Tsikhanouski, who was imprisoned in May 2020 and prevented from standing in the Presidential election campaign, was sentenced to 18 years of prison.
“These sentences are yet more examples of unfounded charges against Belarusian citizens who have exercised their right of expression and called for free and fair elections. These sentences are part of the ongoing brutal and systematic repression of all independent voices in Belarus,” says the press release.
The EU also reiterates its demand for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners in Belarus, who already number more than 920.
Find out more
This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a B&S Europe-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.