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Belarus Police Temporarily Detain Ethnic Polish Leader

Minsk, 28 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Belarusian special police detained an ethnic Polish minority leader and about 20 others overnight before releasing them several hours later.

Inessa Todryk, a reporter with the Polish minority newspaper "Glos znad Niemna," says police raided the headquarters of the Union of Poles in Belarus (UPB) in the western city of Hrodno and temporarily detained Andzelika Boris and others, including a number of journalists.

The raid came several hours after Boris said Belarusian authorities stripped her of her title as UPB head. Earlier yesterday, a Belarusian court sentenced three UPB leaders to jail for 10 to 15 days for organizing what it ruled was an "illegal meeting" between ethnic Poles and Polish diplomats.

Poland and Belarus are locked in a round of diplomatic expulsions. On 26 July, Belarus announced the expulsion of a fourth Polish official. Poland has also expelled four Belarusians.

(AP, AFP, RFE/RL's Belarus Service)

See also:

Belarus Questions Polish-Minority Leaders