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Belarus Sentences Another Ethnic Polish Leader

Union of Poles offices in Belarus 4 August 2005 -- Belarus sentenced the editor of a Polish-language newspaper to 10 days in jail -- the sixth member of a Polish cultural union to be punished in a recent crackdown.

Andrzei Pisalnik was found guilty of taking part in an unlicensed demonstration on 3 July, Belarus's independence day.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry in Minsk today dismissed as farfetched statements by the United States and European Union earlier this week condemning moves against Belarus' ethnic Polish community.

The ministry accused both the United States and the EU of interfering in Minsk's internal affairs. Neighboring Ukraine said today that it is concerned by what it called Belarus's angry and "inadequate" reaction to Kyiv's backing the EU call for Minsk to respect the human rights of its 500,00-strong Polish minority.