Minsk - Belarussian opposition leader Andrei Sannikov, released from prison this year and warned by authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko not to “blabber” if he wants to remain free, has been granted asylum in Great Britain, his wife said on Friday.
Sannikov, 58, ran against Lukashenko in the 2010 presidential poll which Western observers said was fraudulent. The vote handed Lukashenko, a former Soviet collective farm manager, a fourth term in office.
Sannikov was sentenced to five years in prison last year for taking part in a protest against Lukashenko's re-election.
He told Reuters in an interview after his release that the authorities had tried to push him to commit suicide while he was in jail.
Lukashenko said soon after the release of Sannikov and one of his allies from jail in April: “If they blabber, they will go back there.”