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Lukashenko pardons jailed opposition activists

© RIA NovostiAlexander Lukashenko
Alexander Lukashenko - Sputnik International
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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko pardoned 11 opposition activists jailed for taking part in last year's post-election protests in Minsk, the Belta news agency said on Wednesday.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko pardoned 11 opposition activists jailed for taking part in last year's post-election protests in Minsk, the Belta news agency said on Wednesday.

The identities of those pardoned were not disclosed.

Though this is the third presidential pardon for convicted protestors, but none of Lukashenko's electoral rivals has been released so far.

At least five of the nine losing candidates in December's presidential elections were sentenced to prison terms, along with hundreds of opposition activists. The arrests followed a brutal crackdown on rallies against the result of the vote, which Lukashenko won with a landslide.

Western observers called the polls "flawed."

Three losing candidates - Nikolai Statkevich, Dmitry Uss and Andrei Sannikov - were sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to six years in prison. The fourth, Vladimir Neklyaev, was sentenced to two years in prison with a two-year reprieve.

Another candidate, Ales Mikhalevich, fled the country and was granted political asylum in Czech Republic. Vitaly Rymashevsky received a suspended sentence of two years.

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