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Finnish National Theater Stages Program On Belarusian Opposition


Poetry written by former presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu will be read at the event.

Poetry written by former presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu will be read at the event.

MINSK -- Helsinki's National Theater is to host a program devoted to the crackdown on the Belarusian opposition that followed the December presidential election, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The program on May 10 will include readings of poetry written by former presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu in a translation into Finnish by Jukka Maliinen, who met Nyaklyaeu when the latter lived in Helsinki.

Nyaklyaeu, 64, is currently on trial in Minsk. He has been charged with organizing mass unrest at a postelection demonstration on December 19 and could receive a sentence of up to three years in prison if found guilty.

Actors will also stage a dramatization of events in Belarus since the presidential election, including the trials of Nyaklyaeu and fellow presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau and their supporters.

That drama is partly based on the blogs of people who participated in the postelection protests that gave President Alyaksandr Lukashenka another term in office despite opposition claims the election was rigged.

Nyaklyaeu's daughter, Eva Nyaklyaeva, who helped organize the event, told RFE/RL she was told by the Finnish Foreign Ministry that many Finns are concerned by the postelection crackdown and want Belarus to be a foreign-policy priority for Finland.

Read more in Belarusian here
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