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CIS States

Oppositionist pardoned by Lukashenko to get asylum in UK

26.10.12 17:18    By News Dept.


Andrey Sannikov was pardoned by Lukashneko in April 2012   Photo: ITAR-TASS


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Famous Belarusian opposition activist and candidate for the president's post in the 2010 election, Andrey Sannikov, has received political asylum in the United Kingdom, BelaPan news agency reports, citing Sannikov's wife, journalist Irina Khalip.

"We have decided not to comment further. It is much safer for our family if we don't give any more details," she said. Khalip herself is in Minsk now, as the court ruled that she must not leave the country for a while.

U.K. authorities have not commented on Sannikov' asylum yet.

Sannikov was Alexander Lukashneko's rival during the presidential poll of 2010. He was arrested by the KGB right after the results of the election were announced, when protests broke out in the Belarus capital of Minsk. The protests against vote rigging were dispersed by police.

Later Sannikov was accused of organizing mass riots and was sentenced to five years in a penal colony. European states declared Sannikov a political prisoner. His arrest led to banning entry to the EU for many Belarusian officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko
In April 2012 Andrey Sannikov was pardoned by Lukashenko and was released from prison.

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