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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 | Mohammad Aziz Mahmoudi Executed at Sanandaj Central Prison

Mohammad Aziz Mahmoudi
Iran Human Rights (IHR); June 30, 2020: A young man sentenced to "retribution" (qisas) for "premeditated murder" was executed in Sanandaj Central Prison.

According to Iran Human Rights, on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, Mohammad Aziz Mahmoudi’s death sentence was carried out in Sanandaj Central Prison. 

IHR had previously warned of the imminent execution of this prisoner.

Mohammad Aziz Mahmoudi was accused of “murdering" Diako Karimi around two years ago, when he was only 23 years old, during an “honour” dispute. 

His execution has yet to be confirmed by official media.

There has been a sharp rise in the number of deaths in some of Iran’s western region prisons following the prisoner unrests after the outbreak of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) in prisons.

According to Iran Human Rights’ annual report, at least 225 of the 280 executed in 2019 were charged with "premeditated murder" in Iran.

As there are no legal distinctions between murder and manslaughter in Iran, the accused will receive the death penalty regardless of the circumstances and the intent.

Source: Iran Human Rights, Staff, June 30, 2020


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but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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