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Belarusian Opposition Activist Vinahradau Detained, Faces Trial


A Belarusian activist who has been in and out of jail many times has been detained again.

Paval Vinahradau, a member of the opposition youth group Zmena (Change), left home to report to a parole officer at a Minsk police station on September 11 and did not return.

Vinahradau's wife told RFE/RL that police officials said her husband would be tried on September 12. The charge was not clear.

On August 25, Vinahradau was sentenced to 10 days in jail for using vulgar words in public.

He has been sentenced to terms of several days in jail 16 times in recent years. In nine of those cases, the charge was swearing in public.

He and his supporters say the cases are politically motivated.

Rights groups say President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's government has sought to silence dissent in 20 years at the helm of the former Soviet republic.

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