The Leader of Europe's 'Last Dictatorship' Is Facing an Unprecedented Challenge. Here's What It Could Mean for Belarus

Europe’s longest serving leader Alexander Lukashenko has long worked hard to seem invincible. He has dominated past elections that the U.S. has deemed neither free nor fair and brokered no dissent and suppressed protests. Now, he is facing an unprecedented challenge as he runs for a sixth term as president of Belarus in elections on August 9. A former teacher and political novice, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, has emerged as his main rival, pledging to topple Lukashenko’s regime and restore democracy.
Tens of thousands have rallied across Belarus in some of the country’s biggest opposition protests in a decade, amid mounting frustration over the government’s mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis, combined with grievances about the economy. Referring to Lukashenko, protestors chanted ‘stop the cockroach’ and held placards reading ‘change!’.
“For the first time in his 26-year rule, Lukashenko knows the majority don’t support him,” says Aleksandr Feduta, a former aide to the incumbent, who was i…


September 21, 2007: Desmond Tutu, the archbishop of Cape Town and 1984 Nobel Peace laureate has called on the UN to vote in favour of abolishing the death penalty worldwide. “Such is the world sentiment against the death penalty (with notable exceptions like the United States, China, and Singapore) that a resolution calling for a moratorium on executions and the abolition of capital punishment is to go before the UN General Assembly in October.”

In his analysis, Tutu writes that the case for abolition becomes more compelling with each passing year. Everywhere, experience shows us that executions brutalise both those directly involved in the process and the society that carries them out.

Nowhere has it been shown that the death penalty reduces crime or political violence. In country after country, it is used disproportionately against the poor or against racial or ethnic minorities. It is often used as a tool of political repression.

It is imposed and inflicted arbitrarily. It is irrevocable and results inevitably in the execution of people innocent of any crime. It is a violation of fundamental human rights. (Sources: IPS, 21/09/2007)

Source : Hand Off Cain

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