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Belarusian Opposition Concerned For Jailed Activist’s Health

Syarhey Kavalenka in court in Vitsebsk on February 22
MINSK -- The opposition Youth Front movement and the United Civic Party (AHP) in Belarus have urged the Belarusian prosecutor-general to transfer jailed activist Syarhey Kavalenka to house arrest due to poor health caused by his ongoing hunger strike.

Kavalenka, 37, was sentenced in the eastern city of Vitsebsk in February to 25 months in jail for parole violation.

Kavalenka's relatives, who visited him in a jail hospital in Minsk on March 5, told RFE/RL that he looked weak and had lost some 30 kilograms since he started the hunger strike in December.

Kavalenka told his relatives he would continue the hunger strike.

He was detained in December 2011 for allegedly violating the terms of his parole on an earlier conviction on charges of "illegally displaying the banned Belarusian national flag."