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Vintsuk Vyachorka
Belarusian authorities have blocked another opposition figure from leaving the country.

Politician Vintsuk Vyachorka told RFE/RL that Belarusian border guards, early on March 22, asked him to get off a train heading to Prague.

According to Vyachorka, who was traveling with his daughter on what he described as a private trip, the guards did not provide an explanation for removing him from the train.

In recent weeks, at least 12 Belarusian activists, politicians, and journalists have been prevented from traveling west to European Union countries.

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka confirmed on March 21 that his government has compiled a list of political opponents who are barred from leaving Belarus.

He accused opposition activists of running a "fifth column," or of being disloyal, by supporting additional EU sanctions against his regime.
Police arrest two members of the band Bulistan at a youth opposition rally in Baku on March 17.
BAKU -- The Baku appeals court has upheld the jail sentences for the front man of the popular band Bulistan and two others.

Camal Ali was arrested on March 17 along with his band's bass player, Natiq Kamilov, after he insulted President Ilham Aliyev's late mother during a performance at an opposition youth rally.

The event's organizer, Etibar Salmanli, was also arrested.

The three were later sentenced to up to 10 days in jail on charges of hooliganism.

During the hearing on March 21, Ali reiterated claims that he was subjected to extreme violence and denied access to his lawyer for four days while in police custody.

"They beat me and I am sure they will do the same later on. They were beating the souls of my feet with truncheons," he said.

Salmanli and Kamilov also said they were beaten in jail and forced to sign papers that used profanity against Aliyev.

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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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