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Authorities Force-Feeding Hunger-Striking Belarusian Activist

Syarhey Kavalenka during a court appearance in Vitsebsk in February
Syarhey Kavalenka during a court appearance in Vitsebsk in February
MINSK -- Belarusian prison authorities have started connecting an intravenous feeding system to jailed opposition activist Syarhey Kavalenka, trying to forcibly end his hunger strike.

His wife, Alena Kavalenka, who visited him on March 21, told RFE/RL that her husband weighs some 50 kilograms and is very weak.

Kavalenka, 37, was sentenced in the eastern city of Vitsebsk in February to 25 months for an alleged parole violation.

He was later transferred to a prison hospital in Minsk due to poor health.

Kavalenka was detained in December for allegedly violating the terms of his parole for an earlier conviction on charges of "illegally displaying the banned Belarusian national flag."

He began his hunger strike shortly after his detention.

Authorities force-fed him in January, but he resumed the protest last month.
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