Belarusian Opposition Figures Sentenced

Belarusian opposition figures, Mariaa Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak have been given prison sentences for alleged conspiracy charges.

“The regime sentenced Maria Kalesnikava & Maksim Znak to 11 & 10 years in prison,” announced Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

According to Radio Free Europe,  Kalesnikava and Znak were charged with conspiracy to seize power, calls for action to damage national security, and calls for actions damaging national security by trying to create an extremist group.

Video footage was shared on social media showing Kalesnikava and Znak in a glass cage smiling in front of the cameras just ahead of the verdict.

Kalesnikava was arrested last year in September and taken to the border but was sent back to Minsk after ripping her passport while Znak was abducted from his law office by masked men a few days later. 

“Deplorable that kangaroo court in #Belarus has sentenced two freedom fighters — Maria #Kolesnikova and Maxim #Znak to 11 and 10 years respectively. Their sentences must be reversed and they must be freed immediately,” reacted Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics.

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