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NAVAPOLATSAK, Belarus -- Belarusian opposition activist Andrey Haydukou has been sentenced to 10 days in jail in his native town of Navapolatsak in the country's north.

Haydukou, a founder of the unregistered Belarusian Christian Democratic Party, was sentenced on November 25 for "illegal" distribution of print materials.

He was detained on November 21 after distributing leaflets with data about political prisoners in the tightly controlled former Soviet republic.

Haydukou was released from jail in May after serving an 18-month term after for attempting to contact a foreign intelligence service.

Haydukou denied guilt and said his imprisonment was politically motivated.

In 2010-11, Haydukou served as an aide to opposition presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau, who received political asylum in Europe in 2012 after spending 16 months in jail following a crackdown on protests over the disputed re-election of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Lukashenka has tolerated little dissent during his 20 years as president.

A Russian civil and gay rights activist, Kirill Kalugin, has applied for political asylum in Germany.

Kalugin, a vocal Kremlin critic, told RFE/RL on November 26 that he had left Russia on November 16 and officially asked for political asylum in Germany.

Kalugin said that he does not want "to risk his destiny because of the shortsightedness of the 84 percent of the Russian population," who support President Vladimir Putin.

Kalugin's statement about his intention to get asylum in Germany comes a day after media reports in Russia said another lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights activist from St. Petersburg, Artur Akhmetgaliyev, had applied for political asylum in Germany along with his partner.

In September, another activist from St. Petersburg, Natalya Tsymbalova, a founder of the group Straight Alliance for LGBT Equality, lodged a formal request for political asylum in Spain.

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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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