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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…

Indonesia | 100 drug offenders awarded death penalty in 2020

"The key remedy is punishing them (offenders) severely"

Jakarta (ANTARA) - District courts in different parts of Indonesia have awarded the capital punishment to at least 100 drug offenders in the first half of 2020, said National Police Chief, General Idham Azis.

"May they soon be executed by firing squads to deter others," he said while witnessing the National Police's special task force destroy 1.2 tons of crystal methamphetamine, 35 thousand ecstasy pills, and 410 kilograms of marijuana at the Jakarta metropolitan police headquarters on Thursday.

The drugs were seized from members of local and international drug rings, including those operating from Iran, Pakistan, China, and Aceh and Jakarta in Indonesia, during raids conducted in May and June this year.

Several members of parliament, officials from the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), and representatives from the public prosecution office also came to witness the destruction of the seized drugs.

Strict and harsh law enforcement is the remedy for breaking the chain of drug-related crimes in Indonesia, and it would also serve as a deterrent to others, forcing them to reconsider getting involved in drug-trafficking activities and use of illicit drugs, Azis remarked.

"The key remedy is punishing them (offenders) severely,” he said, adding that public prosecutors and judges should not hesitate to award the severest punishment to drug dealers.

Domestic and transnational drug dealers view Indonesia as a potential market due to its large population and millions of drug users. The drug trade in Indonesia is valued at almost Rp66 trillion.

According to a report from BNN, about 50 drug use-related deaths occur daily in Indonesia. However, the fatalities fail to deter people from using drugs.

In the face of the grave threat posed by drug lords, BNN chief commissioner General Heru Winarko has advised capital punishment for those involved in the drug trade in the country.

Both BNN and the police have continued their war against drugs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 19, 2020, under the command of Brig. Gen. Ferdy Sambo and Sen. Coms. Herry Heryawan, the National Police's Red and White Special Task Force seized 821 kg of crystal meth in Serang District, Banten Province.

On June 4, 2020, a drug raid in Banten Province helped uncover another case involving the smuggling of 402.38 kg of crystal methamphetamine from the Middle Eastern region into Indonesia on board a hired fishing boat. (INE)

Source: antaranews.com, Staff, July 2, 2020


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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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