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Belarusian Police Detain Pollster

Sociologist Aleh Manayeu

Sociologist Aleh Manayeu

MINSK -- A well-known independent sociologist was temporarily arrested in Belarus on his way to the Polish Embassy in Minsk and released several hours later, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.
Aleh Manayeu is the founder of the Independent Institute of Social Economic and Political Studies (NISEPD), which is registered in neighboring Lithuania.
NISEPD analyst Alyaksandr Sasnou told RFE/RL that police stopped Manayeu as he left the subway station on Victory Square around 3 p.m. on October 6. The police said they were acting on an "order given to them to detain [Manayeu]."
Manayeu was released in the evening.
Earlier this week, the NISEPD publicized the results of a survey taken in September in Belarus. The poll showed that 24.5 percent of respondents said they trust President Alyaksandr Lukashenka while 62.3 percent of respondents said they do not trust him.
Sasnou said Manayeu was going to the Polish Embassy to present the poll results.
Polish Embassy officials confirmed to RFE/RL that Manayeu was scheduled to present the results of the NISEPD's September poll, adding that the presentation could still be held at the embassy any time that is convenient for Manayeu.

NISEPD was established by several leading Belarusian sociologists, journalists, entrepreneurs, and politicians in 1992.
The Supreme Court shut down the institute in 2005 and it was registered in Lithuania as a public organization. It is currently directed by Lithuanian Algirdas Degutis.

Read more in Belarusian here