Nobel Prize-winning campaigner Ales Bialiatski is being tried in Belarus
Ales Bialiatski, a human rights campaigner who won the Nobel Peace Prize, has started his trial in Belarus.
The 60-year-old Bialiatski was detained during anti-government demonstrations in 2021, and according to his supporters, authoritarian Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko is trying to silence him.
According to the Viasna (Spring) Human Rights Centre, which Bialiatski created, he is suspected of smuggling money to finance opposition operations.
He might spend up to 12 years behind bars.
After protracted public protests after hotly contested elections that had maintained Belarus' longtime leader in office the year before, he was detained in 2021.
During the protests, which began in 2020, the police brutally dispersed the demonstrators, and opponents of Lukashenko were frequently detained and imprisoned.
Bialiatski, one of three Nobel Peace Prize recipients in 2022, has been detained without being tried since his arrest.
He is currently in court with fellow activists Vladimir Labkovich and Valentin Stefanovich.
On Thursday, Viasna posted images that appeared to show Bialiatski in the courtroom.
He and the other accused, according to the organization, could spend seven to twelve years behind bars.
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