Belarus jails two more former presidential candidates

10:58, May 27, 2011      

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A Belarusian court sentenced two more former presidential candidates to jail on Thursday. Nikolai Statkevich and Dmitry Uss were sentenced to six and five-and-a- half years in a high-security prison respectively for organizing mass protests during the December presidential elections.

Statkevich and Uss were among seven opposition candidates who were arrested along with about 700 protesters after police dispersed a demonstration that protested fraud in last December's election.

President Alexander Lukashenko was declared winner with nearly 80 percent of the vote but other candidates don't believe the official figures. Earlier three other former candidates were sentenced to prison terms. Andrei Sannikov was sentenced to five years in a high- security prison, Vladimir Neklyayev received two years in prison with a two-year deferral, while Vitaly Rimashevsky received a two- year suspended sentence.

The European Union and the United States have condemned the convictions and called for the immediate release of all protesters.

Source: Xinhua
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