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Belarusians Bid Farewell To Rights Defender

Belarusians today bid farewell to a prominent human rights defender who reportedly committed suicide over the weekend, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Yana Palyakova, a lawyer associated with rights activists and opposition movements in Belarus, was found dead on March 7.

Her funeral was held today in the central city of Salihorsk.

About two weeks ago she was found guilty of libeling a policeman and sentenced to two years of restricted freedom.

Her friends and relatives told RFE/RL that after the verdict was announced, she had proclaimed that she would never be a convict.

They blame the Belarusian authorities for her death.