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Belarus KGB Searches More Opposition Activists', Relatives' Homes

Volha Nyaklyaeva, wife of candidate for president Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu, in November photograph.
Volha Nyaklyaeva, wife of candidate for president Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu, in November photograph.
MINSK -- The wife of a jailed former Belarusian presidential candidate says the KGB searched her apartment to prevent her from meeting with visiting U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Volha Nyaklyaeva, wife of imprisoned former presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu, told RFE/RL that three KGB officers stopped her as she was leaving her apartment block on her way to meet Durbin early on January 14. She said the KGB officers showed her a search warrant dated January 3.

Nyaklyaeva said the search was brief, as the couple's apartment has just two rooms and authorities have already hauled off many objects.

"We do not have computers or any other information and database carriers, as the police confiscated everything in May," Nyaklyaeva told RFE/RL. She said the KGB officers looked through all the books written by her husband, a well-known poet in Belarus.

Nyaklyaeva added that the three KGB officers were polite.

KGB officers meanwhile went to the apartment of Syarhey Klyueu -- an opposition activist and coordinator of the Tell the Truth campaign -- to conduct a search. The officers said the search was in conjunction with investigations into the "mass disorder" of December 19, when thousands rallied in a central Minsk square after polls closed to protest official election results that gave incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka an overwhelming victory.

The KGB also summoned Alina Suravets, a deputy chairwoman of the Association of Belarusian Journalists (BAZ), for questioning on January 14.

One day earlier, KGB officers interrogated BAZ Chairwoman Zhanna Litvina, and on January 12 BAZ Deputy Chairman Andrey Bastunets was summoned and questioned.

Four former presidential candidates -- Ales Mikhalevich, Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu, Andrey Sannikau, and Mikalay Statkevich -- who were arrested on December 19 remain in custody. They have officially been charged with organizing mass disorder.

Since January 1, only Mikhalevich's lawyer has been allowed to see his client.

Nyaklyaeu and Sannikau were both beaten before they were arrested and have not yet recovered from their injuries.

Read these stories in Belarusian here, here, and here