Minsk pardons ex-presidential candidate

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MINSK, Belarus, Oct. 3 (UPI) — The government in Belarus was “guided by the principles of humanity” when it decided to pardon a candidate arrested after last year’s post-election protests.

Last month, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko declared pardons for 11 opposition activists captured during post-election violence in Minsk last year. None of them were among Lukashenko’s political rivals, however.

Nearly 400 people were arrested during Independence Day celebrations in Belarus in early July and hundreds of political opponents to Lukashenko were detained following contentious December elections.

Lukashenko’s office announced that it pardoned one of the candidates detained after the December demonstrations.

“Being guided by the principles of humanity, the president of Belarus has pardoned another person convicted for street riots,” Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novosti reporting, citing Lukashenko’s press office.

The report adds it was likely former candidate Dmitry Uss, though the president’s office didn’t release a name.

The European government condemned the repression of opposition figures in Belarus. Washington responded to the situation in Belarus by hitting state-owned enterprises on the country with economic sanctions.

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