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Belarus Opposition Figure Decides To Stay Abroad

WARSAW -- The former press secretary of a Belarusian opposition presidential candidate has decided to stay abroad.

Alyaksandr Atrashchankau worked for Andrey Sannikau during his presidential campaign in 2010.

Atrashchankau told RFE/RL on November 5 that he decided not to return to Belarus after taking part in an international conference in Warsaw.

Atrashchankau's statement comes days after Sannikau told RFE/RL he received political asylum in Britain.

In the 2010 election, official results showed Sannikau came in second behind authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Both Atrashchankau and Sannikau were arrested the vote and sentenced to multiyear prison terms on charges of organizing mass disturbances.

Atrashchankau was pardoned and released in September, 2011.

Sannikau was pardoned and released in April this year.