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Jailed Belarusian Activist Starts Hunger Strike

Maksim Vinyarski is detained in Moscow in December 2012.
Maksim Vinyarski is detained in Moscow in December 2012.
A jailed Belarusian opposition activist has started a hunger strike to protest his incarceration.

Maksim Vinyarski of the European Belarus movement was sentenced on April 22 to 12 days in jail for resisting police.

Vinyarski told RFE/RL that he believed the aim of his sentence is to isolate him during a commemoration event in Minsk for the victims of Chornobyl on April 26.

Vinyarski served a 15-day jail term recently for participating in a pro-Ukraine rally in late March.

Vinyarski said that before his release from jail earlier this month police had tried to persuade him to leave Minsk for a foreign county or a remote village, but he refused.

Vinyarski said the authorities also do not want him to be present in the capital during next month's Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk.

Belarus's opposition has called for an international boycott of the tournament.
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    RFE/RL's Belarus Service

    RFE/RL's Belarus Service is one of the leading providers of news and analysis to Belarusian audiences in their own language. It is a bulwark against pervasive Russian propaganda and defies the government’s virtual monopoly on domestic broadcast media.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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