Belarus court gives opposition activists lengthy sentences

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A court in Belarus has sentenced two leading opposition activists to lengthy prison terms, the latest move in the relentless crackdown Belarusian authorities have unleashed on dissent in the wake of last year’s anti-government protests. Maria Kolesnikova, a top member of the opposition Coordination Council, has been in custody since her arrest a year ago. A court in Minsk found her guilty of conspiring to seize power, creating an extremist organization and calling for actions damaging state security and sentenced her to 11 years in prison. Lawyer Maxim Znak, another leading member of the Coordination Council, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.  Officials in the U.K. and the European Union denounced the sentences, urging Belarus to free all political prisoners.