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Minsk Court Dismisses Charges Against Opposition Leader --> Stanislau Shushkevich (left) in court today ( May 12, 2006 -- A court in Minsk has quashed criminal proceedings against Stanislau Shushkevich, a former speaker of the Belarusian parliament and leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party Hramada.

Shushkevich had been charged with organizing an unsanctioned rally of solidarity with political prisoners on May 1 in Minsk, but a district court today said his conduct during the rally "did not constitute a criminal offense."

(Interfax, Belapan)

Assessing The Election

A police officer closes the gate on a Minsk detention center after demonstrators were brought there on March 24, 2006 (RFE/RL)

LOOKING BACK: On March 21, 2006, RFE/RL's Washington office hosted a briefing on the March 19 presidential election in Belarus and its unfolding aftermath. The roundtable discussion featured CELESTE WALLANDER, director and senior fellow at the Russia and Eurasia Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies; "The New York Times" Moscow correspondent STEVEN LEE MYERS; and RFE/RL Belarus Service Director ALEXANDER LUKASHUK (the latter two speaking via telephone from Minsk).
The roundtable discussion focused on the actions of the administration of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka during the campaign and the election and on what the world can expect from Lukashenka's third term in office.

Listen to the entire briefing (about 60 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media

THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view a dedicated page with news, analysis, and background information about the Belarusian presidential ballot.