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…

Iran Never Stops: Two Prisoners Hanged at Urmia Prison

Iran executions
Iran Human Rights (IHR); July 26, 2020: Two prisoners sentenced to Qisas (retribution in-kind) for "premeditated murder" were executed in Urmia Central Prison this morning.

According to Iran Human Rights, the two men’s sentences were carried out in Urmia Central Prison this morning. 

The identities of the two men have been established as Ali Abdi and Amirhossein Ghahrian.

According to HRANA News Agency, which first reported the news, Amirhossein, who was transferred from the juvenile ward to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution, was arrested and sentenced to death around five years ago when he killed his wife during a domestic dispute.

Yesterday, IHR reported on the two men being transferred to solitary confinement along with two other prisoners at Urmia Central Prison.

At the time of publication, the execution of these prisoners has not been announced by local media or officials.

According to Iran Human Rights’ Annual Report in the Death Penalty in Iran, 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: iranhr.net, Staff, July 27, 2020

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

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