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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…

Saudi beheaded for murder

Execution in Saudi Arabia
Execution in Saudi Arabia
Riyadh: A Saudi man was executed Tuesday after being convicted of murdering a compatriot, the interior ministry said.

Mohammad Al Salala Asiri was beheaded by the sword in the southwestern province of Asir after being found guilty of stabbing to death Amir Al Zayadi, the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.

His execution brings to 49 the number of people beheaded in Saudi Arabia so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on official reports.

Rights group Amnesty International puts the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia last year at 79.

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The death penalty applies to a wide range of offences including rape, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking, as well as murder, as stipulated by the Sharia law.

Source: Agence France-Presse, August 28, 2012

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