Belarus court sentences top basketball player to 15 days' jail


MINSK (Reuters) - A Minsk court on Wednesday sentenced Belarusian basketball player Yelena Levchenko to 15 days in jail for taking part in protests demanding the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Belarus has seen weeks of mass demonstrations since veteran leader Lukashenko was declared the landslide winner of an Aug. 9 presidential election that his opponents say was rigged.

Levchenko, a player on the women's national team and a championship winner in the Russian, Lithuanian and Polish leagues, is one of the founding members of a movement among athletes calling for new presidential elections.

She was detained on Wednesday morning at Minsk airport as she was about to fly out for planned medical treatment abroad.

The authorities have arrested thousands of people, and all major opposition leaders are now jailed or in exile.

The Belarusian Foundation for Sports Solidarity on Wednesday called on athletes to boycott competitions after Levchenko's arrest, while Minsk handball club Vityaz refused to host a scheduled Belarusian championship match in protest.

(Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky; Writing by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In Basketball

NBA: Kobe's 2008 MVP jersey to be displayed at Smithsonian museum
NBA-Lakers to wear Bryant-designed jerseys for potential title clincher
Rival basketball body wants EU antitrust action against EuroLeague organiser
Somali women's basketball team defy prejudice, hostility
Lakers' LeBron faces former Heat team in NBA Finals
Legendary U.S. college basketball coach John Thompson dead at 78: media reports
Trump says NBA protest will 'destroy' basketball
NBA to resume games after player protest, turn stadiums into voting sites
NBA star LeBron James emerges as potent political force ahead of November U.S. election
Yoong’s parting shot

Stories You'll Enjoy