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Belarusian Police Detain Activist For Distributing Leaflets

Vasil Palyakou

Vasil Palyakou

HOMEL, Belarus -- The leader of the United Civic Party's branch in the eastern Belarusian city of Homel has been detained, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Vasil Palyakou was in the nearby town of Rahachou distributing leaflets explaining the views on social issues of the opposition coalition United Democratic Forces (ADS).

Police confiscated the leaflets and kept Palyakou at the police station for a few hours. He was released without charge. Palyakou says police told him that the leaflets' contents would go through "checks and tests."

The leaflets were about ADS demands to restore free public transportation for pensioners, students, and handicapped people.

Palyakou was fined 1.65 million Belarusian rubles ($775) in 2003 for conducting an unauthorized poll, and was arrested and jailed in 2007 for using obscene language. He staged a hunger strike in jail during his 2007 sentence.