Belarus releases second opposition leader

April 15, 2012 at 10:43 AM

MINSK, Belarus, April 15 (UPI) -- An opposition leader in Belarus was released from prison after serving two years for his role in post-election rioting, his wife said Sunday.

Olga Bondarenko told Russia's RIA Novosti news service that her husband, Dmitry, was on his way home after requesting a pardon from President Alexander Lukashenko.

"He will soon return to Minsk," said Mrs. Bondarenko.

Dmitry Bondarenko was one of 11 political prisoners that the European Union had publicly demanded that Belarus release from custody. The government Saturday allowed former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov to go home.

Bondarenko had been a proxy for Sannikov in the violence-marred 2010 presidential election. He was jailed for allegedly inciting rioting after the voting took place.

RIA Novosti said Bondarenko and Sannikov were the only two of the 11 prisoners to formally ask Lukashenko for a pardon.

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