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Second Belarusian Activist Jailed Over 'Toy Protest'

Two men have now been jailed in connection with this illegal toy protest in Minsk on February 10.
MINSK -- Belarusian authorities have jailed a second man for alleged involvement in the holding of an unsanctioned "toy protest" in Minsk.

Alyaksandr Artsybashau was sentenced to 10 days in jail late on February 22 -- several hours after another opposition activist, Paval Vinahradau, was sentenced to 10 days on the same charge.

Both men have denied the charges and announced the start of hunger strikes to protest their imprisonment. On February 10, Belarusian youth activists brought a number of stuffed animals to Minsk's Independence Square, placed them in the snow, and set up placards.

The signs bore messages urging President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to "Free the people," asking "Where is the freedom of the press?" or declaring "Toys against lawlessness."

Police later arrived at the scene and confiscated the "offending" toys.
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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.