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Belarusian Activists Detained For Flying Flag

BARISAU, Belarus -- Two activists in the central Belarusian town of Barisau have been detained for publicly displaying the country's historic flag, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Anna Sharuba and Uladz Yaromenak were hoisting the red-and-white Belarusian flag in the streets of Barisau on August 1 when local police detained them for three hours.

Police defined the activists' actions as a "violation of public regulations in populated areas," and warned them they could face serious charges if they continue such actions.

The opposition organization Malady Front (Youth Front) launched a campaign called "Our City" across the country on May 14, the 15th anniversary of a referendum that replaced the country's traditional national symbols with a modified Soviet-era national emblem and flag.

Opposition and other nationalist groups have protested the introduction of those symbols ever since.