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Jailed Belarusian Opposition Leader Statkevich Gets Additional 10 Days In Prison

Mikalay Statkevich has spent 34 days in jail in the last 10 months.

MINSK -- Incarcerated Belarusian opposition leader and former presidential candidate Mikalay Statkevich had his arrest prolonged to 10 more days, his wife says.

Maryna Adamovich told RFE/RL on November 3 that she received a court ruling, according to which her husband was found guilty of holding an unsanctioned public gathering last month when dozens of journalists and supporters met him at the prison gates on his release from custody.

Statkevich is currently serving his five-day arrest stemming from a ruling that he took part in an unsanctioned rally weeks ago. He was expected to be released on November 5, but his spouse says he will now most likely be sent back to detention to serve the additional 10 days.

Statkevich has been detained several times since January, and has spent 34 days in jail in the last 10 months.

Statkevich ran against authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in the 2010 presidential election.

Lukashenka, in office since 1994, was reelected in the vote that his critics say was rigged.

Statkevich was arrested after attending a large demonstration protesting the election results, and spent five years in prison after being convicted of organizing riots at a trial criticized by human rights groups and Western governments.

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