Where Tyranny Rules

SERGEI GRITS / AP

LEGACY: A flag aloft for the anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, a public holiday in Belarus

Nikolai Statkevich tried to buck the system in 2001: he ran for President of Belarus. The country calls itself democratic, but President Alexander Lukashenko, in power for 11 years, runs it like the last dictatorship in Europe and brooks no challenges to his neo-Stalinist rule. That's why Statkevich, 49, leader of the opposition Social Democratic party, found himself confined to a prison barrack in the town of Baranovichi, 120 km west of Minsk, the nation's capital. Last March, the government sentenced him to three years of forced labor for "resisting the authorities and obstructing traffic" during a protest in October 2003....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!