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Belarusian Journalist To Be Monitored By Police

Iryna Khalip at a court hearing in May
Iryna Khalip at a court hearing in May
MINSK -- The wife of Andrey Sannikau, the former Belarusian presidential candidate now in prison, has registered with police as a condition of her suspended two-year jail sentence, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Iryna Khalip, a correspondent for the Moscow-based "Novaya gazeta" newspaper, told RFE/RL on August 5 that while registering with police in Minsk she was told that she must be home every day by 10 p.m., and that police can come to her apartment any time after 10 p.m. to ensure she is there.

Khalip received a two-year suspended prison sentence on May 16 for her involvement in protests following December's disputed presidential election.

Her husband is a former deputy foreign minister and co-founder of the Charter 97 human rights group. He was sentenced on May 14 to five years in a maximum-security prison on charges of organizing mass protests following the presidential election.

Khalip said she was told that "in case I need to visit my husband in the labor camp, the police will issue a special route card which will allow me to travel to the penitentiary and spend three days there."

She said that the terms of her sentence do not limit her work choices but added she will not be able to travel to Moscow, where her employer is headquartered, because of the 10 p.m. curfew.

Khalip and Sannikau were arrested after some 15,000 antigovernment demonstrators protested the results of the controversial presidential vote on December 19, which reelected Alyaksandr Lukashenka for another term.

International election monitors said the vote was flawed and was neither free nor fair.

Hundreds of protesters were arrested at the peaceful demonstration and in the following days, including almost all of the opposition presidential candidates. Many were also injured after being beaten by security forces.

Read more in Belarusian here