Belarusian President Pardons Political Prisoners
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Belarusian President Pardons Political Prisoners
Quote:Belarusian President Pardons Political Prisoners

By RFE/RL's Belarus Service
August 22, 2015


The state news agency BelTA reports that Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has issued an order pardoning six political prisoners, including former presidential candidate Mikalay Statkevich.

BelTA reported on August 22 that Lukashenka said in his order that "based on the principle of humanism" he had decided to pardon and release from prison Mikalay Dedkov, Ihar Alinevich, Statkevich, Yauhen Vaskovich, Artsyom Prokopenko, and Yury Rubtsov. <...>

The EU had also stated that the freeing of the political prisoners was the main prerequisite for any kind of normalization of relations between Brussels and Minsk.

Belarusian political analyst Yury Chavusau told RFE/RL that Lukashenka released the political prisoners in an effort to either get Western countries to accept the upcoming election as legitimate or to at least be less critical of the result than they have in the past. <...>

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[...] just as it is not left unto us to choose our ancestors, so we may not choose our nation; we can only fulfil, or not fulfil, the obligations that come from being a member of our people’.
© Dr. Jan Stankievič ‘From the History of Belarus’

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2015 Aug 22 20:00
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