06:44 GMT25 February 2020
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    Lukashenko indifferent to EU criticism over imprisonment of opposition activist

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    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday said he does not care about the criticism which came form the European Union following the conviction and sentencing of Belarusian opposition representative Vasily Parfenkov.

    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday said he does not care about the criticism which came form the European Union following the conviction and sentencing of Belarusian opposition representative Vasily Parfenkov.

    On February 17, a Minsk court sentenced Parfenkov to four years in prison for participating in mass protests subsequent to the December 19 presidential elections.

    Parfenkov, who worked on the campaign staff of opposition presidential candidate Vladimir Neklayev, was also fined about $5,000 for damaging state property, smashing windows and breaking doors. "As part of a rampaging mob, [Parfenkov] attempted to break into a government building, delivering at least 61 blows to a wooden fence at the entrance to the building," the verdict said.

    "Political motives have no place in a legal process," EU Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton commented on the situation in Belarus. "Belarus should be mindful of its OSCE obligations and live up to international standards on democracy, rule of law and human rights."

    "Furthermore, I strongly urge the Belarusian authorities to ensure a fair and public trial of all those facing charges for their role in the context of the 19 December 2010 presidential elections, including participation in post electoral demonstrations," she said.

    "I spit upon all their comments. They are wicked and dishonest people," Lukashenko said on Saturday. "Neither talks, nor relations" could be maintained with the representatives of the West, he added.

    "Moreover, I know exactly what their aims in Belarus were ...They spent thousands of millions of dollars here, and now, having failed their plans completely, they are explaining away and crying that we have political prisoners," Lukashenko said.

    MINSK, February 19 (RIA Novosti) 

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