Photo with Clinton used against jailed Belarus politician

Jan 12, 2023, 5:54 PM | Updated: Jan 13, 2023, 8:01 am
FILE - Andrey Dzmitryeu shows his presidential candidate's identification card after he was registe...

FILE - Andrey Dzmitryeu shows his presidential candidate's identification card after he was registered as a candidate for the presidential elections in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, July 14, 2020. A human rights group says an opposition politician who ran against authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko has been arrested in Minsk. Andrey Dzmitryeu, a 41-year-old activist who heads the Tell the Truth movement, was seized by security forces near his home in the Belarusian capital Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023 the Viasna center reported. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits, File)

(AP Photo/Sergei Grits, File)

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Belarusian investigators are using a photo of an opposition politician shaking hands with former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as evidence in a criminal case tied to the mass protests after Belarus’ disputed 2020 presidential election.

The Investigative Committee of Belarus on Friday published the photo of Andrey Dzmitryeu, who ran in the election against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko and is now facing up to four years in prison over his involvement in the protests. In a statement it said the picture with Clinton “may indicate that his activities were coordinated from abroad.”

Dzmitryeu, a 41-year-old activist and leader of the Tell the Truth opposition movement, was detained by security forces Wednesday and has been charged with “organizing riots.” He is being held in the Okrestsina jail in Minsk, which became notorious after rights activists alleged that participants in the 2020 protests were tortured and humiliated there.

The Investigative Committee did not specify when or under what circumstances the photo of Dzmitryeu and Clinton was taken, but claimed that the politician had “crossed the state border of Belarus 599 times, 33 of them after 2020.”

Both the Belarusian opposition and Western countries denounced the 2020 election, which gave Lukashenko another term in office, as rigged. Authorities in Minsk responded to the protests with a massive crackdown that saw over 35,000 detained and thousands beaten by police. Dozens of media outlets and non-governmental organizations were also shut down.

According to official Belarusian election data, Dzmitryeu placed fourth with 1.2% of the vote, while Lukashenko got over 80%. During the election campaign, Dzmitryeu repeatedly voiced his support for opposition figures barred from running.

According to Belarus’ Viasna human rights watchdog, there were 1,445 political prisoners in the eastern European country as of early January. Opposition leader Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya, who many believe was the real winner of the 2020 election, condemned Dzmitryeu’s arrest and claimed in a Twitter post that “on average, 17 people are detained every day in Belarus.”

“I am alarmed by the arrest of another presidential candidate from Belarus,” Tsikhanouskaya, who now lives in exile in Lithuania, said on the social network. “The dictator seems busy taking revenge on his real or imagined opponents — even moderate politicians like Andrey Dzmitryeu.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Puyallup man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood, 32, after renewed efforts by his attorney to get Greenwood into a drug-treatment facility.
21 hours ago
FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at t...
Associated Press

Democrats in Washington state choose Conrad as new leader

The Washington State Democratic Party has chosen Shasti Conrad, the former leader of King County Democrats, as its new chair.
21 hours ago
Hinman Glacier...
Associated Press

Washington’s Hinman Glacier gone after thousands of years

The largest glacier between the high peaks of Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak has melted away after a long battle with global warming.
21 hours ago
Pierce County substation...
Associated Press

Man accused in holiday substation vandalism released from custody

A man charged with vandalizing electrical substations over the holidays to cover a burglary was released from federal custody.
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Ex-UCLA lecturer accused of threats ruled mentally unfit

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles accused of threatening students and staff was found mentally unfit to stand trial last week by a federal judge in Denver. U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore wrote in a Jan. 27 court filing that lawyers for Matthew Harris filed […]
21 hours ago
This photo provided by Peter Phung shows Phung, left, and Ming Wei Ma at the American Chinese Sprin...
Associated Press

Ballroom shooting victims planned for night of fun, dancing

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Those killed by a gunman who opened fire at a Los Angeles-area dance hall are being remembered by friends and family for the zest for life that brought them out that night to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Eleven people were killed when a gunman opened fire on Saturday night at […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Photo with Clinton used against jailed Belarus politician