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Belarusian Journalist Said Beaten By Police, Charged With Resistance

MINSK -- A Belarusian journalist has been charged with resisting law enforcement officers after an altercation in which he was beaten by police, according to his employer, the TV channel Belsat.

Belsat said the journalist, Andrus Kozel, faces a court hearing on February 19.

According to Belsat, Kozel was attacked by four police officers when he was covering local elections on February 18 by live-streaming to his Facebook account from a polling station in Minsk.

Belsat said that Kozel suffered a head injury.

The popular Belsat station is a subsidiary of Poland's Telewizja Polska, which broadcasts into Belarus in the Belarusian and Russian languages, irritating authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's government.

Rights advocates say Lukashenka's government has restricted independent media as part of efforts to suppress dissent through nearly 24 years in power.

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    RFE/RL's Belarus Service

    RFE/RL's Belarus Service is one of the leading providers of news and analysis to Belarusian audiences in their own language. It is a bulwark against pervasive Russian propaganda and defies the government’s virtual monopoly on domestic broadcast media.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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