Facing tough sanctions from the EU and the US, Belarus President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko and his government have “freed” at least 7 political prisoners – all oppositional leaders who were arrested after Lukashenko “won” the fraudulent presidential election by 80%.
This news must certainly be a relief to the families of the “freed” oppositional leaders, but we must qualify the good news because, as the article does a good job explaining, the leaders are still under something resembling strict house arrest. “They still face lengthy prison terms and are under heavy surveillance” from the K.G.B.
As a side note, we have to say that we find it somewhat ironic that the EU is currently putting together a package of sanctions against Lukashenko and his government, while under the leadership of EU President (and aspiring autocrat) Viktor Orban of Hungary. We urge you to skim through our collection of articles documenting the ways Orban and his Fidesz party are flouting democracy and tell us if you think he can have credibility leading such sanctions, while being such a hypocrite. Share your thoughts in our comments section!
Facing Sanctions, Belarus Frees Seven Political Prisoners, but a Dozen Remain in Jail by Michael Schwirtz in The New York Times, January 30, 2011