8 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A prominent Belarusian scientist who was given a lengthy prison sentence after criticizing the way in which the authorities dealt with the Chornobyl disaster has been released early.
Yuri Bandazhevskii, a nuclear scientist, arrived home in Minsk late on 7 August. He told the AFP news agency he had not expected an early release and was still half "in shock."
Bandazhevskii was given an eight-year sentence in 2001 after accusing the government of irresponsibility for allegedly concealing the effects of radiation from the Chornobyl disaster in neighboring Ukraine.
Amnesty International had listed him as a prisoner of conscience.