Belarus sentences exiled opposition leader to 15 years

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — A court in Belarus has sentenced exiled opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya to 15 years in prison after a trial in absentia on charges including conspiring to overthrow the government. Tsikhanouskaya and four other opposition figures were tried in their absence in the Belarusian capital, Minsk. The charges against them also included creating and leading an extremist group, inciting hatred and harming national security. All five left Belarus following the unprecedented mass protests that erupted in 2020 after authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko secured his sixth term in office in a disputed election. The opposition and the West have denounced the vote as rigged.