Belarus opened polling stations for both the parliamentary and local elections on Feb. 25 amid condemnations from the Belarusian democratic opposition. The country is ruled by dictator Alexander Lukashenko, who uses rigged elections to solidify his regime rather than to provide a chance for actual democratic competition.
According to the Viasna human rights group, Ihar Lednik is the fifth political prisoner to die behind bars in Belarus in the last two years.
Belarusian opposition working to create ‘alternative’ passport, safeguard exiles from Lukashenko regime
Editor’s Note: The full names and some of the locations of the Belarusian citizens quoted in this article have been omitted at their request to protect their identities and those of their loved ones. After participating in protests and later witnessing the defeat of the Belarusian revolution in 2020,
Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began simultaneously from four main directions, one of them involving Belarusian territory. Soon after, Belarusian troops were expected to join the war directly. However, four months into Russia’s war, Belarus' autocrat Alexander Lukashenko continues to hold out on sending his soldiers to war.
Belarus' parliament approved a bill on May 4 to amend the country’s criminal code, introducing capital punishment for acts of "attempted terrorism." Previously, the death penalty was assigned to those that committed terrorist acts that resulted in casualties. Belarus’ State Security Committee, or KGB, has a long list of