Alyaksandr Kazulin is a Belarusian opposition activist and a former prisoner of conscience. From 1996 to 2003, he served as rector of the Belarusian State University. He was fired from his position in retaliation for his opposition activism. Kazulin later ran for president of Belarus in 2006, as leader of the Belarusian Socialist Democratic Party. He was beaten and arrested several weeks before the election for attempting to enter the All Belarusian People’s Assembly; he was assaulted and detained again during a peaceful demonstration protesting the fraudulent election. In July 2006, Kazulin was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for “hooliganism” and “inciting mass disorder,” after he organized a peaceful vigil outside of a prison where many protesters were being detained. Under international pressure, the Belarusian government freed Kazulin in August 2008.