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Opposition Leader Fined For Violating Law On Public Gatherings

Belarusian opposition leader Anatol Lyabedzka
Belarusian opposition leader Anatol Lyabedzka
MINSK -- An opposition leader in Belarus has been fined 5,850,000 Belarusian rubles (more than $600) for violating the law on public gatherings.

On January 14, Minsk's Savetsky District Court found Anatol Lyabedzka guilty of the "unsanctioned" collection of signatures against new taxes on cars earlier this month.

Lyabedzka had pleaded not guilty.

He told journalists on January 13 that he had been beaten and harassed by seven unknown men who detained him near his house on January 12.

Lyabedzka said that before releasing him the same day, the men drove him to the mass grave of victims of a Stalin-era purge in Kurapaty, near Minsk, and then to a city crematorium.

He described it as an attempt to psychologically intimidate him.
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