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Belarus: Opposition Activist Arrested

Minsk, 15 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - A deputy chairman of the Belarusian National Front, a group opposed to President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, was today arrested in Minsk

Yury Belenky was seized in the office of Belpromstroybank, where he works. He was handcuffed and taken by force to the police station without any explanations.

The leadership of the National Front said that Belenky had taken part two months ago in a rally marking the anniversary of Belarus' 1991 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union. This might have been the cause of his arrest.

Belenky was released after a few hours, after he had claimed parliamentary immunity. Belenky was a member of the national assembly dissolved last year on Lukashenka's orders. The law provides former deputies with immunity for a time after the completion of their mandate. This privilege may be revoked by the country's Prosecutor General.