Serge Tishanovsky wanted to take on Alexander Lukashenko. He was arrested on charges of organizing mass unrest.
More than a year after his arrest, the trial of blogger Sergei Tishanovsky, who wanted to run against Governor Alexander Lukashenko in the presidential election, began in Belarus. And his wife, Svetlana Tichanovskaya, wrote in the news channel Telegram, that the court was held in a closed room in the city of Gomel. In addition to the blogger, charges were brought against five other men. Tichanovsky is accused of organizing mass unrest.
“Everyone understands that it is not a trial, but personal revenge and retaliation for those who seized power by force,” human rights activist Tichanovskaya, who lives in another EU country, wrote Thursday, regardless of the verdict. She ran for election in place of her husband, and in the opinion of many, she clearly won the vote.
According to human rights group Wesna, only state media are allowed to take part in the trial in a remand prison in the east of the country. Lawyers are obligated to maintain confidentiality and therefore are not allowed to provide any information about the process. Pictures showed the accused sitting in a mesh cage.
“Mom, Dad really is not dead?”
Tichanovsky was arrested at the end of May last year while collecting signatures for his candidacy. “Since then, our family’s life – like the lives of thousands of Belarusian families – has changed a lot,” said Tichanovskaya. Her daughter asked her, “Mom, is dad really not dead?”
After the presidential elections held about ten months ago, which were widely considered rigged, hundreds of thousands of people protested against long-term ruler Lukashenko. Tens of thousands were temporarily arrested, hundreds were wounded, and many more were killed. Lukashenko had assured himself a sixth term with 80.1 percent of the vote. According to human rights activists, many people in Belarus are imprisoned for political reasons.
“Food practitioner. Bacon guru. Infuriatingly humble zombie enthusiast. Total student.”