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Belarusian Opposition Collecting Money For Mother Of Dead Activist

The funeral ceremony for human rights activist Yana Palyakova
The Minsk office of the opposition Belarusian Popular Front (BNF) is commemorating human rights activist Yana Palyakova, who commited suicide on March 7, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

BNF Minsk branch chairman Viktar Ivashkevich is collecting money for Palyakova's family.

Palyakova, who was buried in the Belarusian city of Salihorsk on March 9, was distraught over being found guilty two weeks ago of libeling a policeman. She was handed a $350 fine and sentenced to two years of restricted freedom.

Palyakova, 33, had charged the policeman with assaulting her while in detention. But the judge ruled the policeman had not assaulted her and that she had libeled the officer.

Palyakova's friends and relatives said she had proclaimed after the trial that she would never be a convict.

Rights defenders and opposition leaders in Belarus are blaming Belarusian officials for her death.