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Belarusian Military Court Keeps Youth Activist In Army

Franak Vyachorka (left) and his father Vintsuk in a Minsk court in Minsk last month.
MINSK -- A Belarusian military court has ruled that a political activist was legally drafted into the army, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

In January, Franak Vyachorka was forcibly taken to the military commissariat in Minsk's Savetsky district.

He says he was then beaten, handcuffed, and taken to a military unit in the city of Baranovichi.

He says he has high blood pressure which gives him a medical deferment from serving in the military.

Vyachorka, 21, has been arrested several times for his activist work with the opposition Belarusian Popular Front (BNF).

He was expelled from university last year while in the third year of his journalism studies.

Vyachorka is the son of BNF Deputy Chairman Vintsuk Vyachorka.