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…

Saudi prince saves killer from execution

December 19, 2013: A Saudi sentenced to death for killing another citizen is set to walk free after mediation by a member of the Saudi royal family succeeded in persuading the victim’s relatives to pardon the killer, a Saudi newspaper reported.

Faleh Al Subai was sentenced to death two years ago after he killed Abdul Aziz Al Muneef during a fight in the southern Saudi province of Asir.

The defendant was to be beheaded after the victim’s family refused to pardon him for diya (blood money), according to Sabq newspaper.

It said the victim’s relatives agreed to grant a pardon in court this week in response to mediation by the Prince of Asir Faisal bin Khaled bin Abdul Aziz.

Under Islamic law, which is strictly enforced in Saudi Arabia, a convicted killed can avert execution and walk free if pardoned by the victim’s relatives in return for diya.

Source: emirates24/7, December 19, 2013

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