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Prominent Belarusian Rights Defender Detained, Charged With Hooliganism

Belarusian lawyer and human rights activist Aleh Vouchak
Belarusian lawyer and human rights activist Aleh Vouchak
MINSK -- Police have arrested well-known Belarusian human rights activist Aleh Vouchak and charged him with hooliganism.

Vouchak was able to inform his friends and colleagues via his cell phone on January 27 that police were taking him to a pretrial detention center and that his trial is scheduled for January 30.

Vouchak said he was arrested right after he visited a post office in Minsk from where he mailed a copy of the independent newspaper "Narodnaya volya" (People's Will) to Ivan Kruk, a colleague in the western city of Astravets.

No further details are available.

Vouchak is a former investigator at the Minsk Prosecutor-General's Office. Since 1990 he has been involved in human rights activities.
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