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Belarusian Artist Jailed For Hooliganism

Belarusian artist Ales Pushkin (file photo)

Belarusian artist Ales Pushkin (file photo)

Belarusian opposition activist and artist Ales Pushkin has been sentenced to 13 days in jail for hooliganism, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The Krupskaya district court handed down the sentence today, after Pushkin's arrest on December 8 in his native village of Bobr.

Pushkin's wife, Yanina, told RFE/RL that police arrived at their house at 3.45 p.m. and told Pushkin that one of his neighbors filed a complaint that Pushkin had beaten him up.

Police then forced Pushkin into a car and took him away.

Yanina Pushkina said the neighbor came to their house earlier on December 8 and insulted her husband.

She said that Pushkin simply asked him to leave, but did not attack him.

Pushkina said that her husband's arrest could be politically motivated, with the aim of isolating him during the run-up to the December 19 presidential election.

During the last presidential election in March 2006, Pushkin was also behind bars, serving a 15-day prison term for verbal insult.

Pushkin's jail term will end on December 21, two days after the presidential election.

Read more in Belarusian here