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Belarusian Vendor Detained For Wearing Anti-Lukashenka T-Shirt

Uladzimer Nepomnyashchykh and his T-shirt

Uladzimer Nepomnyashchykh and his T-shirt

HOMEL, Belarus -- Police have detained a local vendor in southeastern Belarus who was wearing a T-shirt that said "For a Belarus without Lukashenka," RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Uladzimer Nepomnyashchykh told RFE/RL on May 13 from the city of Homel that several policemen detained him and took him to the central police station.

He said the police told him he was being held because of the slogan on his T-shirt. He was later released.

Nepomnyashchykh had recently spent several days queuing at a currency-exchange office in Homel seeking to buy dollars or euros.

Buying hard currency in Belarus has become increasingly problematic in recent weeks since the government launched a gradual devaluation of the Belarusian ruble.

Nepomnyashchykh also had a badge on his T-shirt that said "I will buy nonstable currency." He explained that the purpose was to make it easier for him to find potential black-market sellers of hard currency.

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