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Svyatlana Baykova
Jailed Belarusian investigator Svyatlana Baykova plans to ask Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to intervene in her case, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Baykova was arrested in March while investigating corruption among high-ranking Committee for State Security (KGB) personnel.

Baykova's lawyer Mikhail Vouchak told journalists today that Baykova is drafting an appeal that she plans to send to Lukashenka next week. In her appeal, he said, Baykova will urge the president as the guarantor of the country's constitution to protect her constitutional rights.

Vouchak said she also wants to ask Lukashenka to help secure her release and to put a stop to the "illegal actions of some KGB officers against her."

Vouchak did not elaborate on the charges Baykova is facing. The KGB has not said on what grounds it is holding Baykova.

In 2000, Baykova started investigating the disappearance of former Interior Minister Yury Zaharanka. In 2002, she was taken off Zaharanka's case. Zaharanka's whereabouts are still unknown.

Baykova has been on hunger strike since May 31. On June 10, her mother was allowed to see her in the KGB detention center. Vouchak says Baykova's health has deteriorated.
Mikola Dzemidzenka
An activist of the Belarusian Malady Front (Young Front) movement was detained for several hours in the town of Vitsebsk in the northeast of Belarus, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Mikola Dzemidzenka was detained in Vitsebsk on June 10 after arriving from Minsk. He was accompanied by human rights activist Nasta Loyka.

Loyka told RFE/RL that several policemen with assault rifles entered the trolleybus in which she and Dzemidzenka were traveling and asked Dzemidzenka to show them his ID.

The police officers then asked Dzemidzenka to get off the trolleybus and took him to Vitsebsk's Pershamay district police department.

He was released several hours later.

Dzemidzenka told RFE/RL after his release that he had come to distribute leaflets to members of Malady Front's branch that was set up in Vitsebsk recently.

He said police told him he was detained for the illegal distribution and posting of leaflets.

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About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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