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Hunger Strikers In Belarus Demand Release Of Businessmen

Mikalay Autukhovich

Mikalay Autukhovich

Another young activist in Belarus has gone on hunger strike, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Katsiaryna Salauyova, a member of the unregistered Youth Front movement, became the 29th hunger striker in Belarus to demand the immediate release of three businessmen being held in detention in the Belarusian city of Vaukavysk.

Mikalay Autukhovich, Yury Lyavonau, and Uladzimer Asipenka have been in jail since February 8. They are accused of organizing an arson attack.

All three businessmen deny the charge, saying that the accusations are politically motivated.

Autukhovich is currently being kept in the detention center's medical treatment facility. He has been on hunger strike since April 16.

Lyavonau has spent several days in the detention center's hospital due to health problems, as well.

Lyavonau and Autukhovich had previously been incarcerated in Belarus and were considered by Western states to be prisoners of conscience. They were unexpectedly released early last year, along with four other detainees.