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Belarus: Journalists' Detention Condemned

Prague, 29 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - A New York-based organization that monitors press freedom has condemned Belarus for detaining three Russian journalists.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to drop all charges against Pavel Sheremet, a reporter for Russia's ORT television, his driver and cameraman. The appeal comes in a letter sent to Lukashenka yesterday, a copy of which was obtained by RFE/RL today.

The three have been charged with illegally crossing the Belarusian border with Lithuania while preparing a report. They were taken into custody on Saturday, and have been detained since. ORT officials say Belarus security agents raided their Minsk offices Sunday and confiscated Sheremet's passport.
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    Tony Wesolowsky

    Tony Wesolowsky is a senior correspondent for RFE/RL in Prague, covering Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, and Central Europe, as well as energy issues. His work has also appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists.