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Two Belarusian Activists Jailed For Offending President


7 September 2004 -- Belarusian authorities today jailed two activists from Belarus's business community for publicly offending President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Valery Levanieuski and Alyaksandr Vasilieu, who lead an organization involved in arranging protests for Belarus's small business community, were sentenced to two years in prison for publicly offending Lukashenka by accusing him of misusing state funds.

Vasilieu was also found guilty of organizing a nonsanctioned demonstration that took place on 1 May.

In other news, Belarus's journalists' association today said that authorities have suspended six independent newspapers in the country over the past few weeks.

(RFE/RL/AFP)
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