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Jailed former presidential candidate released in Belarus

© RIA NovostiAt least five of the nine losing candidates in December's presidential elections were brought to trial and convicted
At least five of the nine losing candidates in December's presidential elections were brought to trial and convicted - Sputnik International
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A candidate in last year's presidential elections in Belarus, sentenced to five years and six months in jail for taking part in post-election protests, was released on Saturday.

A candidate in last year's presidential elections in Belarus, sentenced to five years and six months in jail for taking part in post-election protests, was released on Saturday, his wife said.

It was announced in mid-September that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko pardoned 11 opposition activists, but their names were not disclosed.

"Presidential candidate Dmitry Uss was released at 19:00 local time [16:00 GMT] in connection with Lukashenko's amnesty," Yevgenia Uss told the Charter'97 online portal.

At least five of the nine losing candidates in December's presidential elections were brought to trial and convicted following a brutal crackdown on rallies against the result of the vote, which Lukashenko won with a landslide.

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.

So far, only Statkevich and Sannikov remain in jail.

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