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Moscow Police Detain Politician At Lukashenka Protest

Some protesters rallied in support of jailed Belarusian opposition leader Mikhail Marynich (file photo) Moscow, 28 April 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Moscow police detained Yabloko Deputy Chairman Sergei Mitrokhin and press secretary for the Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) Denis Terekhov on 28 April for participating in an unsanctioned protest outside of the Belarusian Embassy, RFE/RL's Moscow bureau reported.

About 20 protestors carried signs reading "Freedom for Political Prisoners," "Lukashism Equals Fascism," and "Hands off
Russians," "Gazeta" reported. Mitrokhin and others organized the action to protest the arrest of 14 Russian citizens in Belarus on 26 April.

Of the 14 arrested in Minsk, 12 were members of the youth movements Yabloko, SPS, and Walking Without Putin, while two were journalists. The Belarusian police also arrested five members of the Ukrainian youth movement Pora. The youths were participating in an unauthorized rally near the presidential-administration building in Minsk on the 19th anniversary of the Chornobyl nuclear plant disaster.

On 27 April, Belarusian courts sentenced the Russians and Ukrainians to terms varying from five to 15 days, ITAR-TASS reported. According to the website for the Belarusian youth movement Zubr, one of their activists, a 14-year-old, had his arm broken by police for wearing a T-shirt that read: "Freedom for Marynich." Mikhail Marynich is a jailed Belarusian opposition leader.

In Moscow, Mitrokhin, 41, was released the same day that he was arrested, though he was scheduled to reappear at the police station early on 29 April, reported. Also detained in Moscow were activists from the youth branches of Yabloko and SPS and Walking Without Putin. According to "Gazeta," the activists had planned to hurl potatoes at the embassy but, at the last minute, the organizers decided to stick to the more conventional method of picketing.

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