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Belarusian Opposition Politician Detained At Rally

Lyabedzka, right, with Belarusian Popular Front's Vintsuk Viachorka in March ( MINSK, July 27, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Police in Belarus have detained opposition politician Anatol Lyabedzka as he attempted to join a meeting marking Sovereignty Day, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reported today.

Belarusian authorities do not recognize the holiday, which marks the country's declaration of sovereignty from the Soviet Union on July 27, 1990.

Authorities denied the opposition permission to hold a concert today marking the 17th anniversary of the declaration.

Meeting Access Blocked

Approximately 40 opposition activists, instead, met today with members of the 1990 Belarusian parliament that declared sovereignty near a church on Minsk's Independence Square, across from the government's headquarters.

RFE/RL Belarus Service correspondents Lyubou Luniova and Alherd Neviarowski reported from the scene that police selectively blocked access to the square.

Plainclothes security officers, meanwhile, roamed the square and checked the bags and identifications of young people attempting to attend the meeting.

Police were also blocking access to Janka Kupala Square, named for the Belarusian poet, where opposition figures planned to lay flowers at a monument.

RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report

RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report

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