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Jailed Belarusian Oppositionist To Remain In Solitary Confinement

Zmitser Dashkevich in a Minsk courtroom in March
MINSK -- The jailed leader of the Belarusian opposition Youth Front organization has had his term in solitary confinement prolonged until April, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Minsk-based human rights activist Nasta Louka told RFE/RL today that Zmitser Dashkevich has managed to send her a message from his labor camp informing her that his solitary confinement term has been prolonged.

"Zmitser has been in solitary confinement for three months now," Louka said. "In different labor camps where he had been transferred he also spent long periods in solitary confinement. Human rights defenders are very concerned over his situation, his health, and life. We demand that officials provide Dashkevich with appropriate conditions in jail."

Dashkevich and fellow Youth Front activist Eduard Lobau were sentenced on March 24 to two and four years in jail, respectively, after being found guilty of assaulting two people in Minsk on December 18 last year, one day before the disputed presidential election.

Dashkevich has been protesting his arrest and conviction while in custody and authorities have been transferring him to various labor camps where he has often been in solitary confinement.

Amnesty International has officially recognized Dashkevich and Lobau as prisoners of conscience.

Read more in Belarusian here