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About 130 other people were detained during protests on March 25 against a controversial unemployment tax.

Reports out of Belarus indicate that two people who were detained on March 21-22 on suspicion of planning illegal protests have been released.

Activist Nina Shydlouskaya told RFE/RL on March 31 that Syarhey Barstok, a former member of the disbanded nationalist Bely Lehiyon (White Legion) organization, was released and has returned home.

The other detainee who was reportedly released has not been identified.

At the same time, Shydlouskaya said five people had been formally charged with "training and preparing to carry out mass riots."

Those charged include Zmitser Dashkevich, leader of the Malady Front (Youth Front) movement; Ivan Kavalchuk, a student at the National Technical University; former student Yauhen Paltarzhytski, Malady Front activist Syarhey Strybulski, and Alyaksey Abramau.

The Belarusian KGB security service could not be reached for comment.

In all 28 people are believed to have been arrested, including former Bely Lehiyon members, members of the Patriyot (Patriot) military club in Babruysk, and members of the Malady Front youth group.

State security agencies claimed that weapons and military equipment -- some of which seemed to be traceable to Ukraine -- were seized in the raids.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said on March 21 a that "fifth column" was trying to destabilize the country and that some of its alleged members had been trained in "camps," probably in Lithuania and Poland.

About 130 other people were detained during protests on March 25 against a controversial unemployment tax.

Activists have been working to establish the identities of all those detained.

With reporting by Belpan and Interfax
Police seize equipment from the Belsat TV station in Minsk on March 31.

MINSK -- Belarusian police have searched the headquarters of the popular Belsat TV station, a subsidiary of Poland's Telewizja Polska S.A.

The Minsk City Police said on March 31 that computers, audio, and video equipment were confiscated as part of an ongoing preliminary investigation.

The probe was triggered by a complaint filed by an individual who owns the right to use the Belsat name for his/her company, it said.

No more details were given.

Earlier in September 2014, Belarus's Supreme Court barred Telewizja Polska S.A. from using the name Belsat TV for its Belarusian-language broadcast and on-line programs.

The court said such use violates the rights of a Belarusian satellite and cable TV equipment company called BELSATplus.

Belsat TV continued to use its name despite the ruling, saying its trademark does not fall under Belarusian jurisdiction as it is registered in Poland and operates from that country.

Rights advocates say President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's government has restricted independent media as part of efforts to suppress dissent during his almost 23-year rule.

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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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