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Jailed Belarusian Activist's Prison Term Reduced


Uladzimir Asipenka during his trial in March 2009

Uladzimir Asipenka during his trial in March 2009

MINSK -- A jailed Belarusian activist's prison term has been shortened by one year, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Former military officer Uladzimir Asipenka, from the western city of Vaukavysk, was tried last year with civil activist Mikalay Autukhovich for "preparing terrorist acts against Belarusian officials."

Prosecutors failed to prove the charges in court but Asipenka was found guilty of illegal firearm usage and sentenced to three years in prison.

He pleaded not guilty, saying he was jailed because of his ties with Autukhovich and his anticorruption activities.

Asipenka's daughter, Lyudmila Asipenka, told RFE/RL that a recent amnesty adopted by the government reduced her father's term by one year.

She said that by the end of this year Asipenka will be eligible for early release on parole.

Asipenka has been in prison since February 8, 2009.
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