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Case Against Jailed Belarusian Activist's Supporter Delayed

Raman Kislyak

Raman Kislyak

BERASTSE, Belarus -- A judge in western Belarus has sent a criminal case against a local human rights defender back to police for additional investigation, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The activist, Raman Kislyak, was arrested on October 16 during a one-man march in support of Ales Byalyatski, the chairman of the Vyasna (Spring) human rights center, who was arrested in August and charged with tax evasion in a case that drew widespread international condemnation.

Kislyak marched down Berastse's Cosmonauts Boulevard with a megaphone informing passersby about Byalyatski's arrest and condemning the charges against him as politically motivated. Police arrested him around 6 p.m. and kept him in custody overnight.

Kislyak left the courtroom in the city of Berastse a free man following the judge's decision on October 17.

Kislyak told RFE/RL the investigators and prosecution were not able to demonstrate clearly which article of the law on public gatherings he had violated.

In addition, Kislyak said, there was a discrepancy in the indictment, which claimed variously that he had staged a picket and held an illegal march.

Kislyak was informed by the court he would be summoned again once the additional investigation was completed.

Read more in Belarusian here