17:35 GMT28 January 2020
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    Jailed former presidential candidate released in Belarus

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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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