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Belarusian Politician Barred From Leaving Country


Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu

Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu

MINSK -- A former Belarusian presidential candidate has been barred from leaving the country for two years and told to stay home at night, under new restrictions announced by a court in Minsk today, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The "additional limitations" on Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu were announced at a court hearing held in his absence.

The court barred Nyaklyaeu from leaving Minsk without written permission and from traveling outside Belarus until his two-year suspended sentence is over.

It also barred him from attending public gatherings and meetings; ordered that he present himself at a police station once a week; and told him to stay home between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m..

The new limitations were requested by police.

The court did not accede to a police request that Nyaklyaeu be barred from visiting restaurants and cafes.

Nyaklyaeu told RFE/RL that he ignored Minsk Lenin District court's subpoena because he wanted to express his solidarity with jailed opposition leaders and activists.

Nyaklyaeu obtained the subpoena on September 8.

He was given a two-year suspended sentence on May 20 for his role in a protest on the presidential election day last year.

Nyaklyaeu was severely beaten and arrested in central Minsk on December 19 when some 15,000 people took part in antigovernment demonstrations to protest the announcement of incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's reelection. Nyaklyaeu was later transferred to house arrest until his trial started in May.

The opposition said the presidential vote was fraudulent and international election monitors described it as flawed.

Hundreds of protesters were arrested at the demonstration and in the following days, including almost all opposition presidential candidates, some of whom have received jail sentences.

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