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Belarusian Police Detain Hunger Strike Supporters

Skrabets (left) and Fralou 5 June 2004 -- Belarus police today detained two persons supporting parliamentarians on a hunger strike.

Police detained the activists after they pitched tents by the building where three members of parliament are fasting to demand fairer rules for October general elections.

Marina Bogdanovich, a member of the opposition United Civic Party leading the protest, said more tents would be erected in the future.

The three members of parliament -- Uladzimir Parfyanovich, Syarhey Skrabets, and Valery Fralou, started the protest on 3 June.

They demand new laws providing more independent election observers and broader rights for them to oversee voting. They also seek the release of opposition politician Mikhail Marynich, detained in April.