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Belarus: Ex-Candidate's Wife Allowed To Leave Country

Iryna Khalip
Iryna Khalip
MINSK -- The wife of former Belarusian presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau has been allowed to temporarily leave Belarus.

A parole board in Minsk informed Iryna Khalip that she can visit her husband in Britain before April 3.

Sannikau received political asylum there last year.

Khalip will also be allowed to travel to Moscow to visit her employer, the "Novaya gazeta" weekly.

Khalip was banned from traveling abroad in May 2011 after receiving a two-year suspended prison sentence for involvement in protests following Belarus's disputed 2010 presidential election.

Sannikau officially came a distant second behind authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Authorities said Lukashenka won almost 80 percent of the vote.

Sannikau was arrested after the election and sentenced to five years in prison on charges of organizing mass disturbances.

He was pardoned and released in April.
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