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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 regime hanged 13 people today, including 1 man in public

Public hanging in Mashhad, Iran, May 17, 2016
Public hanging in Mashhad, Iran, May 17, 2016
NCRI - Iran’s fundamentalist regime hanged at least 13 people, including one man in public, on Tuesday.

Six men were hanged collectively in the Central Prison of Urmia (Orumieh), north-west Iran, earlier on Tuesday, May 17.

They had been serving a prison sentence in Ward 15 of the jail on drugs-related charges.

They were identified as Naji Keywan, Nader Mohammadi, Ali Shamugardian, Aziz Nouri-Azar, Fereydoon Rashidi and Heidar Amini.

Also on Tuesday, a man was hanged in public in the north-eastern city of Mashhad. (PHOTOS below)

The victim, who was not named, was hanged at 7 am in the city's Mofatteh Square. His sentence had been upheld by the regime's Supreme Court.

Separately, the regime’s Prosecutor in Yazd Province told the state-run Rokna news agency that six people were hanged in the central Iranian province on Tuesday. Three of the victims were identified by their initials Ch. R., A. S., and A. B.

Commenting on the hangings, Ms. Farideh Karimi, a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and a human rights activist, on Tuesday said:

“At least 38 executions since the start of May, including three in public, are of deep concern. That’s to say there’s been one public execution every five days and two people hanged each day in the month of May. Sadly however what adds to our concern is that there has not been an appropriate response by the international community or human rights groups to the appalling state of human rights in Iran.”

The latest hangings bring to at least 89 the number of people executed in Iran since April 10. Three of those executed were women and one is believed to have been a juvenile offender.


Public hanging in Mashhad, Iran, May 17, 2016
Public hanging in Mashhad, Iran, May 17, 2016

Public hanging in Mashhad, Iran, May 17, 2016

Public hanging in Mashhad, Iran, May 17, 2016

Public hanging in Mashhad, Iran, May 17, 2016

Public hanging in Mashhad, Iran, May 17, 2016

Public hanging in Mashhad, Iran, May 17, 2016

Public hanging in Mashhad, Iran, May 17, 2016


Sources: NCRI, May 17, 2016

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