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…

China | Father who killed daughter's classmate executed in Wenzhou

Chinese officers demonstrating execution procedure
A father who killed his daughter's primary school classmate was executed on Friday afternoon in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, after his death penalty was approved by the city's top court.

The man, surnamed Lin, received the decision by the top court at the Wenzhou Intermediate People's Court. The sentence was carried out under the supervision of prosecutors. Before the execution, Lin met his family members.

On March 1 last year, Lin was sentenced to death for killing a 9-year-old boy on campus. 

The ruling stated Lin's daughter had a quarrel with her classmate, surnamed Ye, in class on Sept 19, 2018. The next day, the idea of killing Ye came to Lin's mind after Lin found the boy did not publicly apologise to his daughter.

On the afternoon of Sept 21, 2018, carrying a knife, Lin went to the primary school in Ruian, Wenzhou. He took Ye to the school's toilet and killed him with the knife.

"Lin had a grudge over a 9-year-old primary school student and planned to kill him just because of a minor conflict between the boy and Lin's daughter. Lin's behaviour was cruel and constituted the crime of intentional homicide," the top court said in its final review.

"Even though Lin turned himself in, it was not enough for him to get lenient punishment," it said. "Lin's mental disorders, mentioned by Lin's lawyer, were inconsistent with the facts."

The top court said the ruling was based on clear facts and sufficient evidence, and the legal application in the case and procedures of the hearings were correct and legitimate.

Source: asiaone.com, Staff, July 18, 2020

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