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Opposition Activist, Reporters Detained In Belarus

Supporters of Alyaksandr Milinkevich at an election rally in Hrodna this March (RFE/RL) PRAGUE, August 31, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Belarusian police have detained an opposition activist who believes he was fired from work because of his political activities.

Police seized Ales Chyhir, a city councilor and a history teacher, shortly after he chained himself to a lamppost near the building of Babruysk city council, in the eastern region of Mahileu.

Twelve other people, including 11 reporters who were covering Chyhir's protest action, were also taken to a police station. An RFE/RL Belarus Service correspondent was among them.

The reporters, including the RFE/RL Belarus Service correspondent, were released after several hours. Chyhir and another youth opposition activist remain in custody.

RFE/RL's reporter Halina Abakunchyk said the police erased some of the pictures and recordings the reporters had made.

Chyhir was the head of the local campaign headquarters of Alyaksandr Milinkevich, the united democratic opposition challenger of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in this year's presidential election.

Election Day In Images

Election Day In Images

Click on the image to view a photo gallery of election-day events in Belarus.

THE BELARUS ELECTION: To view a complete archive of RFE/RL's coverage of the March 19 presidential election, click here.

To read and listen to RFE/RL's Belarus Service's coverage of the vote in Belarusian, click here.

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