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Polish Journalist Refused Entry Into Belarus --> (RFE/RL) 19 February 2006 -- Belarusian border guards today denied entry to a journalist for a leading Polish newspaper ahead of the country's presidential election next month.

Waclaw Radziwinowicz, a correspondent for "Gazeta Wyborcza," said he was told that he was on a list of people prohibited from entry into the country and was forced to return immediately to Poland.

Radziwinowicz said he had a valid visa and accreditation with Belarus' Foreign Ministry, and that he intended to interview President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Lukashenka is seeking a third term in office and is seen as a heavy favorite in the 19 March presidential polls. The European Union and United States have voiced concern over whether the vote will be free and fair.

Belarus has repeatedly accused Poland of attempting to meddle in its internal affairs.


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