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Belarusian 'Silent Protest' Activist Jailed For 10 Days

Belarusian opposition activist Vital Pratasevich
HOMEL, Belarus -- An opposition activist in eastern Belarus has been jailed for 10 days for holding a silent protest in which he was the only participant, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The Central District Court in Homel sentenced Vital Pratasevich to 10 days' administrative detention on October 24 for violating the law on holding public actions,

Pratasevich was detained on October 21 while staging a one-man silent protest at the "Lenin Square" bus stop in Homel. He was holding a portrait of jailed former presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau.

Sannikau was jailed for five years in May over the mass protests in Minsk against the results of the December 2010 presidential election giving incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka a further term.

Pratasevich, who has taken part in many silent protests by the campaign Revolution via Social Networks, told RFE/RL last week he was assaulted by several unknown attackers in Homel on October 18.

Silent protests, where participants do not voice any slogans, have become popular in Belarus as people angry at the crackdown on opposition supporters or the country's economic crisis seek ways to prevent demonstrations being broken up by police.

Read more in Belarusian here