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

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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…

Indonesia Moving to Reduce Death Row Population by Increasing Rate of Executions

Kerobokan Prison
(6/25/2012) The Bali Post quoted the National Chief Prosecutors office as confirming that prosecutors in Banten (West Java) and Jakarta are making preparations for a suden surge of executions of prisoners now under sentence of death in Indonesia.

A Junior Chief Prosecutor, Hamzah Tadja, confirmed steps are in play that will soon bring 20 people on death row in the two locales before a firing squad.

The numbers slated for death are 3 in Banten and 17 in Jakarta. While confirming the preparations are ongoing, Hamzah refused to give a time or a place for the coming executions.

“I am not allowed to tell you (the time of the planned executions). Later, when it’s time, you’ll know,” Hamzah explained on Monday, June 25, 2012.

He added that he was unable to provide complete data on the total number of people now sitting on death row across Indonesia, because local prosecutors have yet to file formal reports on the actual number of those under a sentence of death who have exhausted all possible avenues of appeal.

Indonesia has recently formalized the appeal process for those under sentence of death in order to shorten the time between sentencing and actual execution. In the past, the appeal process could consume decades.

The last execution before a firing squad in Indonesia occurred in 2008 when the three Bali bombers were shot.


Source: balidiscovery.com, June 25, 2012

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