Belarusian Opposition Leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s Husband Sentenced to 18 Years In Prison
Sergei Tikhanovski, the husband of Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. Tikhanovski was a popular vlogger who was critical of President Alexander Lukashenko’s policies.
He is accused of inciting unrest and inciting hatred. Other opposition figures were also sentenced to heavy prison terms. For example, Sergei Tikhanovski was arrested and imprisoned in May 2020 after it was revealed that he intended to run in Belarus’ presidential elections.
Tikhanovski was known as a popular vlogger. He travelled through Belarus and talked to ordinary people in the province and in the countryside for his reports. His videos often showed that many ordinary Belarusians also no longer liked the authoritarian rule of President Alexander Lukashenko.
After he ended up in prison, his wife Svetlana Tikhanovskaya decided to take her husband’s place as a presidential candidate. She was allowed to participate because President Aleksandr Lukashenko assumed that he had not much to fear from a woman. However, to the surprise of many, Tikhanovskaya managed to unite the opposition and mobilize tens of thousands of people.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya also said she had won the elections, but Lukashenko did not acknowledge that. After the controversial election results, Belarusians took to the streets en masse to demonstrate against Lukashenko and his policies. However, the protest was brutally suppressed.
Tikhanovskaya has fled with her children to the Baltic EU state of Lithuania, where she now lives and continues the resistance against Lukashenko internationally.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is in Brussels today. VRT NWS journalist Jan Balliauw has a conversation with her, which you can watch tonight in “Terzake” on Canvas.
In addition to Tikhanovski, other prominent opposition figures have been sentenced today. Mikola Statkevich, another well-known opposition force, was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Four others go to prison for 15 or 16 years.