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Belarusian police have briefly detained several rights activists at three universities in Minsk for distributing leaflets, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The leaflets contained the text of an address by poet Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu, the leader of the Tell the Truth campaign, to young people. Nyaklyaeu's speech was called "The Right Choice for the Right Path."

The activists were detained at Belarusian State University, Linguistics University, and Economics University.

One of the activists, Mikhas Pashkevich, told RFE/RL after being released that university security guards refused to tell him why it is illegal to distribute the leaflets.

University security guards told RFE/RL that they had to call police in order to stop "disruption on the university's premises."

Yury Aleinik told RFE/RL that he and the other activists had managed to distribute more than 3,000 of the leaflets.

The Tell the Truth campaign encourages Belarusians to speak out about a range of social ills.
Iranian riot police on motorcycles patrol a Tehran street during protests in June 2009.
Western states have rebuked Iran over its human rights record in the UN Human Rights Council.

The United States and Norway pressured Iran to make good on its pledge to improve human rights in the country by crafting a statement that won the backing of all 27 European Union nations and more than two dozen other countries.

The statement, delivered by Norwegian Ambassador Bente Angell-Hansen, expressed concern over a "lack of progress in the protection of human rights in Iran," especially since the widespread arrests and bloody crackdowns against dissidents that followed President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's reelection in June 2009.

compiled from agency reports

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"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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