Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, has hit out at plans by a group of British lawyers to sue him over his regime’s ongoing crackdown on pro-democracy campaigners. The 56-year-old leader, often described as Europe’s last dictator, said any attempt to pursue him through the courts had “zero prospects” and were a “cheap trick” by opposition politicians. He also attacked
The Independent, which broke the news yesterday that H20 Law, a specialist human rights law firm, was planning to launch both a civil action and a private prosecution against him. In a statement published on Belarusian news sites, Pavel Legkiy, Mr Lukashenko’s press officer, denounced the plan as “nothing more than a PR-action by these gentlemen lawyers. This is just a way to somehow draw attention to themselves by exploiting the popularity of the Belarusian leader and the seriousness of the political situation.”
Human rights groups and foreign governments have accused Minsk of initiating a state-wide crackdown on pro-democracy activists after last December’s disputed presidential elections. Virtually all the people who stood against Mr Lukashenko in the elections have since been arrested and charged with organising mass riots.