Nobel Peace Prize Winner Ales Bialiatski Heads To Maximum-Security Prison For 10 Years


Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Nobel Peace Prize winner Ales Bialiatski will spend the next 10 years in a maximum-security prison, according to an announcement from Russia state news outlet TASS cited by CNN.

A Minsk, Belarus, court sentenced the acclaimed activist to 10 years Friday after finding him guilty of smuggling charges, according to CNN.

Bialiatski and three other human rights activists faced charges of financing 2020 Belarusian presidential election fraud protests and smuggling cash from the European Union, according to Politico. The other activists were reportedly sentenced to prison terms ranging from seven to nine years.

Bialiatski spent decades recording human rights abuses in Belarus and is known as a pro-democracy activist, according to CNN. He allegedly believes his trial was biased against him. (RELATED: US Announces $400 Million For Ukraine To Prep For Spring Offensives)

“This whole epic of 288 volumes, hundreds of searches and interrogations across the country have nothing to do with the pre-trial investigation. There was no fair judicial review, either,” he said in his final statement, according to Politico.

There are reportedly more than 1,400 political prisoners in Belarus, and many around the globe were allegedly outraged by Bialiatski’s sentence.

“The Minsk regime is fighting civil society with violence and imprisonment,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said, CNN reported. “This is as much a daily disgrace as Lukashenko’s support for Putin’s war (in Ukraine).”

Bialiatski was among 14 laureates to be awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize. He was recognized in December 2022 as the war between Ukraine and Russia approached the one-year mark.