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Belarusian Court Sentences Young Activists

The group was detained while protesting the trial of a fellow activist (RFE/RL) September 5, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- A court in Belarus has sentenced two activists from the Youth Front (Malady Front) opposition movement to seven days in prison.

RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports that the activists, a man and a woman, were detained, with other activists, by special police forces while rallying outside a courthouse on September 4.

Other activists on trial in Salihorsk received fines of up to 150,000 Belarusian rubles ($70).

The activists were protesting the trial of a fellow Youth Front member, 16-year-old Ivan Shyla.

Shyla was in court on September 4 on charges of acting on behalf of an unregistered organization. As a minor, he faced a maximum sentence of six months in prison, but was released with a warning.

More than 50 opposition and human-rights campaigners attended the start of Shyla's trial, including representatives of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Vyasna (Spring) human-rights group, and the United Civic Party.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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