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Foreign Nationals Jailed In Belarus


http://gdb.rferl.org/1F16A9EA-283B-48A2-BBD8-6D78566FFC47_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/1F16A9EA-283B-48A2-BBD8-6D78566FFC47_mw800_mh600.jpg Mariusz Maszkiewicz in 1998 (epa) March 27, 2006 -- Reports from Belarus say courts in the capital, Minsk, today sentenced a number of foreign nationals to 15 days in jail on charges of attending unsanctioned opposition rallies.

Poland's PAP news agency reported that among the sentenced foreigners is a former Polish ambassador to Belarus, Mariusz Maszkiewicz.

Belarus's independent Belapan news agency reported that two Ukrainians and three Russians, including rights campaigner Aleksandr Podrabinek, received similar jail terms today.

Georgian television reporters Nino Giorgobiani and Giorgi Laghidze received sentences of five and 15 days, respectively.

All trials took place behind closed doors.

Dozens of Belarusian opposition supporters are also expected to appear in court today. They were all arrested during police security sweeps on March 24-25.

The Belarusian opposition has been protesting the outcome of the March 19 election, which gave incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka a landslide reelection win.

(PAP, Belapan, Prima News, Rustavi-2)
Minsk, March 25

THE AUTHORITIES GET TOUGH: RFE/RL's Belarus Service filed these images from the police action against the March 25 demonstration in Minsk. Photographs by Maks Kapran.


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