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Activists Protest Sentencing Of Belarus Oppositionist

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (file photo) 14 June 2005 -- The International League for Human Rights has voiced concern over last week's sentencing of a leading Belarus opposition figure.

In a letter to Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, the group today expressed "profound concern about the continuing repression of political freedom and human rights" because of the sentencing of Andrey Klimov.

Klimov, a 39-year-old former opposition deputy and businessman, was sentenced on 10 June to spend 18 months of compulsory labor for organizing a rally to demand the resignation of Lukashenka.

Lukashenka has drawn widespread international criticism over the disappearance of opposition figures and censorship of the press. Belarus is the only East European country that does not belong to the Council of Europe, a pan-European human rights watchdog.