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Belarusian Opposition Movement De-Registered By Court


Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu (file photo)

Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu (file photo)

MINSK -- A Belarusian opposition movement headed by a declared presidential candidate has been de-registered by a Minsk court at the request of city authorities, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The Moving Forward movement is led by writer and civic activist Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu, who will be a candidate in the December 19 presidential election.

Nyaklyaeu's movement sponsors the "Tell the Truth" campaign, which was started early this year and encourages Belarusians to speak out about social problems and to document false statements by government officials.

Dzmitry Antanevich, who represented Minsk officials at today's trial, told the judge that Moving Forward's leadership broke the law by providing falsified data when it registered.

"They rented trade premises for an office but, according to the law, premises built for trading cannot be leased as offices and therefore the Moving Forward movement violated the law," Antanevich said.

Viktar Sazonau, a Moving Forward member, said at the trial that if the premises could not be rented as an office then there should have been an order stopping the movement's operations there so that it could find another place for its headquarters.

"The accusation that we falsified data in the registration documents is groundless, we did not lie about anything," Sazonau said.

Judge Andrey Rybalkin ruled that Moving Forward violated the law and should therefore be stripped of its registration.

Nyaklyaeu stated before the trial that the "Tell the Truth" campaign would continue despite the court decision.
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