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Lawyer Allowed To See Jailed Belarusian Presidential Candidate


Presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu lies in a hospital bed after being beaten during clashes between protesters and police in Minsk on December 19.

Presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu lies in a hospital bed after being beaten during clashes between protesters and police in Minsk on December 19.

MINSK -- The lawyer of jailed opposition presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu has been able to see him for the first time in a month, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Tamara Sidarenka told RFE/RL she was allowed to be present at Nyaklyaeu's interrogation in his Minsk detention center on January 28.

She said Nyaklyaeu, who was severely beaten before being arrested on December 19, looked well.

Sidarenka said it was not possible for her to have a confidential talk with Nyaklyaeu, as she was only allowed to attend the interrogation.

But she added that she was going to try to arrange a meeting with Nyaklyaeu this week.

The last time Sidarenka was allowed to see Nyaklyaeu was on December 29.

Opposition Candidates Still Detained

Several opposition presidential candidates and hundreds of their supporters were arrested in Belarus on December 19-20 after they protested against the results of the presidential election, which they say was rigged.

Incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka was officially announced the runaway winner of the vote, which international election monitors said was flawed.

Four former presidential candidates -- Ales Mikhalevich, Nyaklyaeu, Andrey Sannikau, and Mikalay Statkevich -- remain in custody. They have been formally charged with organizing mass unrest.

Nyaklyaeu suffered a concussion when he was beaten by unknown attackers on his way to a protest site on December 19.

He was forcibly taken from his hospital bed by security forces later the same day.

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