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Belarus: Opposition Says Government Intimidating Leaders

Minsk, 11 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Belarus opposition today blamed people linked to the government for attacks carried out yesterday on two of its leaders.

Associated Press quotes Anatoly Lebedko, a critic of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, as saying he was beaten up by unidentified men in the hallway of his apartment building. Lebedko, who was also a deputy in the Belarusian parliament that was dissolved by Lukashenka, claimed the attack was an obvious attempt at intimidation and said that earlier he had received telephone threats.

Igor Germenchuk, chief editor of the nationalist newspaper Freedom and also a Lukashenka critic, said shots were fired yesterday through his apartment window.

Lebedko and Germenchuk said they had reported the attacks to the police.

There was no immediate comment from the President's office.

Lukashenka, whom the opposition accuses of authoritarian methods, dissolved Parliament after a controversial November referendum and in its place created a new one, consisting mainly of his supporters.