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Belarusian Protesters Honor Missing Journalist

8 July 2004 -- About 200 demonstrators gathered in Minsk yesterday to mark the fourth anniversary of the disappearance of a photojournalist and to denounce the Belarusian government for closing an investigation of the case.

The demonstration over the missing cameraman -- Dmitrii Zavadskii of Russia's ORT television -- was held jointly by the international watchdog group Reporters Without Borders and the Belarusian Association of Journalists.

The groups protested the recent closing of an investigation into the case of Zavadskii.

A Belarusian court sentenced two former police officers in 2002 to life in prison for several crimes, including kidnapping Zavadskii. But the trial shed no light on what happened to the cameraman after his abduction. He is presumed dead.

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has denied any involvement in the disappearance of Zavadskii or of several other people who have gone missing.