Belarusian Nobel Prize winner bags 10 years in jail
A Belarusian recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Ales Bialiatski, has received a 10-year prison term from court in Belarus court.
He was found guilty of trafficking and funding activities substantially disturbing public order, according to the Viasna human rights organization.
The 60-year-old, Mr. Bialiatski’s supporters claim that the authoritarian government of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is attempting to silence him.
Mr. Bialiatski was one of three people to receive the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.
He was detained in 2021 after protracted public demonstrations over hotly contested elections the year before and charged with smuggling money into Belarus to finance opposition activities.
The demonstrations, which began in 2020, were met with police brutality, and opponents of Lukashenko were frequently detained and imprisoned.
Mr Bialiatski was in court alongside two fellow campaigners, Valentin Stefanovich and Vladimir Labkovich.
According to Viasna, the organization Mr. Bialiatski formed in 1996, Mr. Stefanovich received a nine-year prison term, while Mr. Labkovich received a seven-year sentence.
They, however, had all entered a not-guilty plea.