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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…

Somali court sentences three al-Shabab militants to death over attacks

Firing squad execution in Mogadishu on January 6, 2014
Somali military court on Wednesday sentenced three al-Shabab militants to death after they were found guilty of being behind the hotel bombing in October last year, officials said.

Chairperson of the Military Court, Hassan Ali Nur Shute, said the militants admitted to charges of carrying out attack on Nasa-hablod II Hotel in which more than 30 people were killed and several others injured.

“The Court heard the cases of three terrorist militants in several sessions and found them guilty of carrying out attack on Hotel Nasa-hablod II attack on October 28, 2017, therefore the court sentenced Farhan Samatar, Abdinasir Hassan and Abshir  Haji to death,” Shute said.

Somali government’s military court often gives death penalties against al-Shabab militants and some soldiers.

But human rights groups including the UN and the EU have condemned these executions.

The EU says it considers the death penalty to be a cruel and inhuman punishment, which fails to provide deterrence to criminal behavior and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.

Source: Xinhua/NAN, May 30, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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