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Opposition Presidential Campaign Workers Attacked In Belarus

Two Belarusian activists working for opposition presidential candidates have been attacked in the western region of Hrodna, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Kiryl Semyanchuk, a supporter of presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu, was attacked by two unknown men in the village of Azyory, in the Hrodna region, on December 12, while distributing leaflets supporting Nyaklyaeu.

Semyanchuk told RFE/RL the attackers poked him, cursed him, and tore letters in his shirt that said "For Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu!"

Semyanchuk said several women passersby interfered in the situation and the attackers fled the scene. One woman later told Semyanchuk she saw the attackers leave a police car before they attacked him.

The same day, activist Danila Klyauko, who was passing out flyers supporting opposition presidential candidate Yaraslau Ramanchuk, was attacked by a man in the city of Hrodna. Klyauko said the attacker hit him in the head several times and warned Klyauko to stop distributing the leaflets.

The presidential election is scheduled for December 19. Ten candidates, including incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka, have been officially registered as candidates.

Belarus has never held a presidential election deemed free and fair by international election monitoring groups.

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