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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…

China: Chinese man declared innocent 13 years after death penalty

A man from south China's Guangdong Province was pronounced innocent by a local court after being sentenced to death for murder 13 years ago, Xinhua reported Friday.

Xu Hui, a resident of Zhuhai city in Guangdong, was given the death penalty with a 2-year reprieve for raping and killing a 19-year-old girl by the Zhuhai Intermediate People's Court in 2001.

Xu repeatedly protested his innocence but all the appeals were rejected by local courts until the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) found the suspect's confession contradicted evidence provided in 2007.

Under the instruction of the SPP, the People's Procuratorate in Guangdong suggested the Guangdong Provincial Higher People's Court rehear the case in 2008. On Sep 9, the Zhuhai Intermediate People's Court brought in a verdict of not guilty.

Source: IANS, Sept. 25, 2014

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