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Detained Belarusian Investigator Begins Hunger Strike


Svyatlana Baykova

Svyatlana Baykova

MINSK -- An investigator in the Belarusian Prosecutor-General's Office who was herself arrested three months ago has gone on hunger strike, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Svyatlana Baykova was arrested on March 3 while investigating corruption among high-ranking Committee for State Security (KGB) personnel, including former KGB officer and customs official Anatol Hramovich.

The KGB has not said on what grounds it is holding Baykova.

Her relatives told journalists today that she had managed to send a message from her cell asking them not to bring her any food, as she had started a hunger strike on May 31.

Baykova is also known for her earlier probes of corruption among police officers.

In 2000, she began investigating the disappearance of former Interior Minister Yury Zaharanka. She was taken off that case in 2002. Zaharanka's whereabouts are still unknown.

Officials in the Prosecutor-General's Office, where Baykova used to work, told RFE/RL that they do not have any information about her hunger strike.

The head of the KGB press service, Alyaksandr Antanovich, refused to make any comment to RFE/RL.

It is not clear whether Baykova is still consuming fluids.
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