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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 | Prisoner Kamil Ghaderi-Aghdam Executed in Naghdeh

Execution, Iran
Iran Human Rights (IHR); July 22, 2020: A prisoner sentenced to qisas (retribution in kind, death) for "premeditated murder" has been executed in Naghdeh Prison.

According to Iran Human Rights, a prisoner on death row was executed in Naghdeh Prison this morning. 

The identity of the prisoner has been established as Kamil Ghaderi-Aghdam, who was sentenced to retribution in kind for "premeditated murder".

An informed source told IHR: "Many efforts were made to save Kamil Ghaderi, and two nights ago, a large number of local elders went to the victim's family home to request their consent. A group of civil activists also gathered outside the prison gates last night, but the victim's family did not consent."

According to the Kurdpa website, which first broke news of the execution, Kamil Ghaderi-Aghdam was from the village of Dilzeh in Piranshahr, West Azarbaijan Province.

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

According to Iran Human Rights Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran, at least 225 of the 280 of those executed in 2019 were charged with "premeditated murder."

As there are no legal distinctions made between murder and manslaughter, whether voluntary or involuntary in Iran, those charged under the umbrella term of “premeditated murder” will receive the death penalty regardless of intent (mens rea) and the circumstances.

Source: Iran Human Rights, Staff, July 22, 2020


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

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