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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…

Iran: Two Ahwazi activists, Hadi Rashedi and Hashem Shabani, have been executed

Iran Human Rights, January 29, 2014: Hadi Rashedi and Hashem Shabani have been executed.

According to sources Iran Human Rights (IHR) has been in contact with the two Ahwazi Arab activists Hadi Rashedi and Hashem Shabani have been executed.

Iranian intelligence ministry offcials have informed the families of the prisoners that the executions were carried out four days ago.

However, Ahwazi activists believe that Hadi Rashedi and Hashem Shabani were executed immediately after their transfer from the Karoun prison of Ahwaz.

Iran Human Rights (IHR) strongly condemns execution of Ahwazi Arab activists. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of IHR said: the leadership of the Iranian authorities must be held accountable for the unlawful executions of the Ahwazi Arab activists. We once again urge the United Nations to send an independent fact finding mission to Iran to investigate these executions”.

On January 20, 2014, 13 human rights NGOs issued a statement calling to stop execution of Ahwazi Arab activists.

Source: Iran Human Rights, January 29, 2014

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