Aug 18, 2008

Belarus Frees Opposition Politician From Prison


NYT: Belarus released its most prominent opposition politician from prison, where he had been serving a lengthy sentence for leading antigovernment protests. The opposition figure, Aleksandr Kazulin, was freed after months of pressure from the US and the EU on Belarus’s president, Aleksandr Lukashenko. On Saturday, Kazulin did not make any remarks upon leaving the Vitba 3 prison, officials said.

Jonathan Moore, the senior US diplomat in Minsk said in a telephone interview that the release of Kazulin “was an important step in improving the human rights situation in Belarus.”

Kazulin, a former Lukashenko ally, turned against him and ran in the presidential election, which was described by election observers as rigged in Lukashenko’s favor. He was arrested and sentenced to 5.5 yrs in prison. He was briefly released in Feb. to attend the funeral of his wife, Irina. He had threatened a hunger strike if he was not allowed to go.

2 comments:

Pirates&Diplomats said...

Wait, Lukashenka's last election was rigged?

Ern said...

Cute.