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Kyiv Wants Belarus To Explain Journalist Deportations

Tensions have been rising as the Belarusian elections approach (RFE/RL) March 3, 2006 -- Ukraine's Foreign Ministry says it wants an explanation from Belarusian authorities for the deportation of some Ukrainian journalists and activists who arrived to cover its upcoming presidential election.

Belarusian authorities detained the six journalists and three activists from the Ukrainian youth party Pora on March 2. One of the activists says the six were deported the same day and another three were ordered to leave today.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said in a statement late on March 2 that the move violated the rights of Ukrainian citizens and demanded an investigation and an explanation.

Pora activist Maryana Pochtar, one of those deported, said they were invited by the Belarusian opposition to monitor the March 19 election and also planned to take part in its campaign rallies.


Belarus Votes 2006

Belarus Votes 2006

Click on the image to view a dedicated page with news, analysis, and background information about the Belarusian presidential ballot.

MEET THE CANDIDATES: Read brief biographies of the four candidates in the March 19 election.

Click on the image to view RFE/RL's coverage of the election campaign in Belarusian and to listen to RFE/RL's Belarusian Service.