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Father Of Jailed Belarusian Opposition Leader Gets Threat Letter

Viktar Statkevich (right) and human rights advocate Syarhey Housha in Baranavichy on September 9

The 88-year-old father of a jailed Belarusian opposition leader has received a threatening letter that he says is government pressure on his son.

Viktar Statkevich, the father of former presidential candidate Mikalay Statkevich, told RFE/RL that he found a Russian patriotic symbol called a St. George ribbon affixed to the gate of his house in the western city of Baranavichy on September 8.

The letter was addressed to "the slaves of the CIA."
The letter was addressed to "the slaves of the CIA."

He then found a letter in his mailbox addressed, in Russian, to "the slaves of the CIA, dirty offenders the Statkeviches."

It said it was from "the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant" and also included the words "Allah Akbar!" (God is great).

Human rights activist Syarhey Housha called for an investigation and said he shared Stakevich's belief that the letter was a form of pressure on his son.

Mikalay Statkevich is serving a six-year prison term for "organizing mass disturbances" following authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's reelection in December 2010.

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