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Belarusians Fined For Supporting Jailed Opposition Activists

NAVAPOLATSK, Belarus -- Two Belarusian activists were fined today in the northern town of Navapolatsk after demonstrating solidarity with jailed opposition activists, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Police arrested Viktar Kalesnik and Alyaksandr Kalintsau on January 19 near the Navapolatsk mayor's office, where they were holding a placard saying "Freedom for those jailed!"

Judge Pyotr Lyauchonak found Kalesnik guilty of organizing an unsanctioned public action and fined him the equivalent of $230. Kalesnik was a representative in Navapolatsk of former presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau, who is now jailed in Minsk.

Kalintsau was found guilty of participating in an unsanctioned public action and fined the equivalent of $22.

The men plan to appeal the verdicts.

Hundreds of opposition activists were arrested in Minsk during protests following the December 19 presidential election. Opposition parties say the election -- in which incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka was officially declared the winner -- was fraudulent.

Seven of the eight opposition presidential candidates were arrested and jailed. Dozens of opposition activists and journalists are still in prison.

Read in Belarusian here