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Belarus Activist Says RFE/RL Popular Among Prison Inmates

Artsyom Dubski

Artsyom Dubski

MAHILEU, Belarus -- An opposition Belarusian activist recently released from prison says RFE/RL's programs in the Belarusian language are available on short wave in jails and are very popular among prison inmates, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Artsyom Dubski was released May 25 from a correctional institution in the city of Mahileu.

Dubski told RFE/RL that prisoners listen to Radio Svaboda and transcribe what they hear and tell others.

He said it was his fellow prisoners who first told him that his future wife was being interviewed on RFE/RL.

"Barbed wire poses no barrier to the [radio] airwaves," Dubski said.

Dubski is a member of an opposition youth group called Malady Front (Young Front).

He was sentenced to one year in prison in July 2009 for violating a two-year "restricted freedom" term imposed on him for participating in a January 2008 unsanctioned demonstration in Minsk protesting a government crackdown on owners of small businesses.