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Belarus/Russia: Detained Journalist Starts Hunger Strike

Minsk, 13 August 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Our correspondent reports from Minsk that detained Russian television journalist Pavel Sheremet has begun a hunger strike.

Sheremet was arrested last month by the Belarusian authorities and charged with illegally crossing the country's border. He is currently being held in pre-trail detention in the city of Grodno and could face up to five years in prison, if convicted.

Sheremet's lawyer, Garry Pogonyailo, said today that his client has come down with a severe cold but is not receiving any medical treatment. He has also been prevented from receiving recent newspapers and journals as well as a TV set sent by his family.