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Belarusian Activist Charged With Pornography Distribution

A Belarusian activist has been charged with distribution of pornography via the Internet in what colleagues said was a politically motivated case.

Minsk-based human rights center Vyasna (Spring) said on November 18 that a member of the opposition Malady Front (Youth Front) movement, Andrey Tychyna, was charged after investigators said that a video clip that was based on a popular rock group's song and placed on Tychyna's social-network account "carried elements of pornography."

Tychyna's colleague, Alyaksey Valabuyeu, told RFE/RL that the charge was politically motivated.

He said police were looking for ways to target Tychyna after a search of his apartment in the central city of Salihorsk in September.

Before the search, police summoned Tychyna and questioned him about the appearance in downtown Salihorsk of a 15-meter-long historic national flag.

The white-red-white flag is banned in Belarus, whose longtime president, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, displays nostalgia for the Soviet Union.

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