From charged courtrooms to “breathing bans” — with a few folk songs thrown in for good measure — RFE/RL’s Radio Svaboda reports the breaking news and backstories from Belarus.
# A court in Belarus has convicted two defendants and sentenced them to death for carrying out a Minsk subway bombing that killed 15 people and injured hundreds of others on April 11, a notable sentence as Belarus is the only country in Europe that still executes its criminals.
# Human rights activist Ales Byalyatski was sentenced by a Belarusian court to 4 1/2 years in prison for tax evasion, a verdict that has prompted international condemnation.
# Riding a bike is out. So is clapping. Now a Belarusian opposition activist has been banned from breathing deeply as a form of protest.
# The most recent episode of The Blender podcast profiles RFE/RL’s Bohdan Andrusyshyn, a.k.a. Danchyk, the American-born singer who won legions of fans for his repertoire of Belarusian and Ukrainian ballads and folk songs. Danchyk has earned an enthusiastic following among U.S. diaspora communities and thousands of Belarusians hungry to hear music in their native language, whose use had dwindled after years of russification.
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