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Belarusian Journalist Is Charged With 'Hooliganism'

The Belarusian national flag on a street in Minsk
Ales Asiptou, an independent journalist in Belarus's Mahileu region, was arrested and sentenced to three days in prison yesterday on charges of "hooliganism," RFE's Belarus service reports.

Asiptou wrote on politics, economics and finance for several independent publications.

In the days prior to his arrest, KGB agents had contacted activists in several towns in Mahileu to ask them about their telephone conversations with him.

Today, the Belarus opposition recognizes the country's traditional Independence Day, commemorating the first independent Republic of Belarus in 1918. Police and security forces have detained dozens of activists on "preventive grounds," according to RFE sources in Minsk.