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U.S. Protests Detention Of Diplomat In Belarus

25 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The United States says it has protested to the Belarus government over the brief detention by Belarus authorities of a U.S. diplomat.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the diplomat was detained as he was conducting "a series of routine diplomatic meetings" on 23 August in the city of Homel, some 300 kilometers southeast of Minsk.

McCormack gave no explanation for the detention, but said U.S. officials had made clear Washington's "serious concern" over the incident to the Belarusian government.

McCormack noted the diplomat, political officer Lyle McMillan of the U.S. Embassy in Minsk, was held only briefly.

Galina Skorokhod, an activist in Homel, said McMillan had been scheduled to meet with representatives of nongovernmental organizations when police detained him.

Belarus authorities were also reported to have detained in Minsk two Georgian pro-democracy activists who took part in the "Rose Revolution" protests in Tbilisi in 2003.


For RFE/RL's full coverage of events in Belarus, see "News And Features On Belarus"