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Belarusian Opposition Leaders Fined For Unsanctioned Rallies

  • RFE/RL's Belarus Service

Belarusian opposition leader and former presidential candidate Mikalay Statkevich had only been released from prison last month.

Belarusian opposition leader and former presidential candidate Mikalay Statkevich had only been released from prison last month.

MINSK -- A Minsk court has fined three Belarusian opposition leaders for holding unsanctioned rallies.

The central district court on September 30 fined former presidential candidate Mikalay Statkevich the equivalent of $500 for holding an unauthorized rally in Minsk on September 16.

Statkevich, who was released on August 22 after serving more than 4 1/2 years in jail for protesting presidential election results in December 2010, was earlier fined $400 by the same court for holding an unsanctioned rally in Minsk on September 10.

Former presidential candidate, Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu, was also fined the equivalent of $300 on the same charges.

And the leader of the opposition United Civic Party, Anatol Lyabedzka, was fined some $400 for the same charges.

Nyaklyaeu was given a two-year suspended sentence for his role in a December 2010 protest against the disputed reelection of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Opposition leaders and activists held a series of unsanctioned rallies in Minsk this month questioning the transparency of the upcoming presidential election scheduled for October 11, which Lukashenka, who faces no real challenge from three other registered hopefuls, is expected to win.

Statkevich urged attendees at the rally to boycott the vote.

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