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Three Georgians Detained At Minsk Rally

Opposition protesters in Minsk on March 21 (RFE/RL) March 21, 2006 -- Belarusian authorities have detained three Georgian nationals at an opposition rally in Minsk.

They reportedly include Basil Kobakhidze, Georgia's most prominent dissident Orthodox priest, and Malkhaz Songulashvili, the leader of Georgia's Baptist community.

Georgian media report the three were detained on March 20 at the rally to protest official election results giving President Alyaksandr Lukashenka a third term in office. They were reportedly waving Georgian and Belarusian flags.

Givi Targamadze, chairman of Georgia's parliamentary Defense and Security Committee, accused Belarusian authorities of stirring up "anti-Georgian hysteria."

Georgian officials have called on Belarus to release the three.

(Caucasus Press, Rustavi 2 TV)

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