TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — A leading Belarusian political activist has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for opposing President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.
Mikalay Autukhovich was convicted and sentenced by a Belarusian court Monday on charges of plotting a terror attack, high treason and a conspiracy to seize power.
Autukhovich is a 59-year old former military officer and a veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan. He has helped the opposition raise funds for their efforts to oppose Lukashenko, who has ruled the ex-Soviet nation with an iron hand for more than 28 years.
Lukashenko has brutally suppressed protests that were fueled by his being awarded a sixth term in office in a 2020 presidential vote that was widely seen as rigged.
Along with Autukhovich, 11 other activists in Belarus were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 2½ to 20 years.