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Charges Against Belarusian Opposition Leader Dropped

Belarusian opposition politician Anatol Lyabedzka
Belarusian opposition politician Anatol Lyabedzka
MINSK -- The leader of a Belarusian opposition party facing trial over postelection protests says the charges against him have been dropped, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Anatol Lyabedzka, the leader of the United Civic Party (AHP), was among dozens of people arrested and charged with organizing and/or participating in "mass disorders" in Minsk on December 19 following the official announcement of incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's reelection.

Lyabedzka was released on April 6 on condition that he did not leave Minsk while the investigation against him was under way.

Lyabedzka told RFE/RL on August 25 that he received a letter from the Minsk City Police informing him that the charges have been dropped "as no crime was committed."

He said the letter was "an unexpected surprise."

Lyabedzka also said that he will not be fully satisfied until all other activists and former presidential candidates are freed from jail and/or the charges against them are dropped.

Among those jailed over the December protests are three opposition politicians who ran against Lukashenka, including his main challenger Andrey Sannikau, who was handed a five-year sentence in May.

Read more in Belarusian here