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Belarus Releases Detainees As EU Readies Sanctions

Belarusian Presidential Candidate Releasedi
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January 29, 2011
Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu is greeted upon his release to house arrest in Minsk

(WATCH: Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu is greeted upon his release to house arrest in Minsk.)

Belarusian authorities have released seven detainees, including a former presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu, who were arrested in December during protests over the reelection of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

The release came ahead of an expected announcement by the European Union that it would reinstate a visa ban on Lukashenka and other government officials in response to the crackdown on protesters following the election.

The United States has also said it is considering renewed sanctions in response to the crackdown, and has equally called for the release of detainees.

Nyaklyaeu's lawyer said on January 28 she was allowed to see her client for the first time in a month.

with Reuters reports

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