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…

India: Dummy Execution Of Four Death-Row Convicts In Nirbhaya Gangrape Case Held In Tihar

The four convicts will be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar Jail.

Days ahead of their actual hanging, a dummy execution of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape case was carried out at Tihar Jail on Sunday, prison officials said.

A Delhi court had pronounced on Tuesday that the convicts -- Mukesh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) -- will be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar Jail.

A team of prison officials performed dummy execution of the four convicts. 

The dummies were created using sacks filled with debris and stones as per the weight of the convicts, a senior jail official said.

The execution of all four convicts will take place in Jail No 3, he said, adding that the UP Prison authority has confirmed that Pawan Jallad from Meerut will be sent to hang them.

The Tihar authorities had written to the Uttar Pradesh prison authorities, seeking the services of two hangmen from the state for the execution, as it did not have in house employees for the same.

All the four convicts are likely to be hanged simultaneously.

The jail authorities were also holding conversations with the convicts on a daily basis to ensure that they were in a good mental state, the official said. 

The four are among six men who had gangraped and murdered a 23-year-old paramedic student in New Delhi in 2012. A fortnight later, on December 29, 2012, she succumbed in a Singapore hospital. 

The case had sparked off nationwide protests. 

While one of the accused was a juvenile, another was convicted and allegedly committed suicide in jail, leaving four of them to face the death penalty. 

Source: outlookindia.com, PTI, January 13, 2020

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