Jakub Kulhánek, the Czech foreign minister, disagrees with the harsh prison sentences for Belarusian opposition activists and politicians. He said it was despicable that the husband of the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, was sentenced to 18 years in prison. According to Kulhánek, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko acts like a “little frightened boy.”
“Let’s face it, the sentencing of Tsikhanouskaya’s husband to 18 years in prison makes Lukashenko look like a little frightened boy. That and other harsh prison sentences are despicable. The EU should start working on further sanctions,” Kulhánek wrote on Twitter.
President of the Chamber of Deputies Markéta Pekarová Adamová said that the verdict reminds her of the actions of the Communists in totalitarian Czechoslovakia in the 1950s.
“We can’t talk about a fair trial. It’s about revenge for the political views of opponents of the illegitimate Lukashenko regime,” she noted on Twitter.
The candidate for the foreign minister post, Jan Lipavský, stated that he considers the imprisonment of Tsikhanouski and hundreds of other people to be unacceptable.
“Czech diplomacy will also advocate their release and respect for human rights within the EU,” he added.
Senate President Miloš Vystrčil considers the sentence for Tsikhanouski as further proof that Lukashenko’s regime is afraid of such simple and basic things as freedom of speech. According to him, there is a need to keep supporting a free Belarus.
A Belarusian court sent blogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski to prison on Tuesday for preparing and organizing mass riots and incitement to social hatred.
Tsikhanouski denied the accusation, while his wife called the verdict revenge. Former presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich has been sent to jail for 14 years, bloggers Ihar Losik and Uladzimir Tsyganovich have been jailed for 15 years, and activists Dmitry Popov and Artsyom Sakau have been jailed for 16 years.