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Belarus Deports Two Russian Rights Activists

Russian human rights activist Viktoria Gromova

Russian human rights activist Viktoria Gromova

MINSK -- Belarusian authorities have given two visiting Russian human rights activists 24 hours to leave the country, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Viktoria Gromova told RFE/RL that she and Aleksandr Mnatsakanyan were officially informed by Minsk's Pershamay district court on May 5 that they are on a list of people who are personae non gratae in Belarus.

She said they were shown documents stating that Gromova will not be eligible to enter Belarus until March 31, 2012. Mnatsakanyan will be barred until May 31, 2013.

Gromova and Mnatsakanyan along with three other Russian citizens -- Irina Paikachyova, Yury Dzhibladze, and Lyubov Zakharova -- and Ukrainian Volodymyr Chemerys, were detained on May 4 near the Minsk-based "Vyasna" (Spring) human rights center.

They were scheduled to present a report on the demonstration in Minsk on December 19 to protest the announcement that incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenko had been reelected.

No explanation was given for their detention. All six were subsequently released.

Read more in Belarusian here