Belarus opposition candidate freed from prison

AP News
Posted: Oct 02, 2011 10:35 AM
Belarus opposition candidate freed from prison

One of the seven Belarusian opposition presidential candidates arrested after last year's election has been released from jail after a pardon from authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Dmitry Uss, who had been sentenced to five years imprisonment for organizing a protest that started just after the polls closed Dec. 19, was freed after the Saturday pardon order.

More than 700 people in all were arrested after police broke up the gathering of thousands of demonstrators protesting alleged vote fraud. Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus since 1994, was declared the winner.

Two other candidates remain in prison, serving sentences of five to six years. Two others were given suspended sentences and freed nearly five months after their arrest, while another has fled the country and been given asylum in the Czech Republic. The seventh was released several days after his arrest.