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Belarusian Youth Activist Completes Sentence

Opposition activist Maxim Dashuk finishes sentence of almost two years and five months.
MINSK -- Belarusian opposition youth activist Maksim Dashuk has been released after serving two years and five months of "restricted freedom" for participating in an unsanctioned street demonstration, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The 19-year-old was one of 13 people found guilty in the spring of 2008 by a Minsk court for participating in a protest in January 2008 against the government's crackdown on small businesses. Some 3,000 business owners and their sympathizers took part in the protest.

In May 2009, Amnesty International designated Dashuk and some of the other youths sentenced for their participation in the demonstration as political prisoners.

Dashuk's sentence entailed a 2200-0600 curfew, during which he was required to be at home. Dashuk, who worked to help support his widowed mother, a small business owner, was several times found by the court to be in violation of the curfew. His original sentence of 18 months was, therefore, extended to 29 months.