One Of Five Jailed Belarusian Presidential Candidates Released

One of the five opposition presidential candidates arrested during mass protests that followed Belarus's election last month has been released from jail, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Vital Rymasheuski was released overnight on December 31-January 1 on condition that he not leave town.

A colleague from Rymasheuski's Belarusian Christian Democracy party confirmed the news today.

Denis Sadovski of the party said that Rymasheuski was expected to be questioned by the State Security Committee again on January 4.

His release was reportedly intended to allow him an opportunity "to write an explanatory note to [President Alyaksandr] Lukashenka," according to RFE/RL's Belarus Service.

Rymasheuski was expected to hold a press conference on January 4.

Rymasheuski and four other candidates who ran against incumbent President Lukashenka have been charged in connection with the demonstrations that broke out in Minsk after the December 19 vote that officials say gave Lukashenka a fourth term.

They could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

More than 600 people were detained in the bloody crackdown on postelection protesters.

compiled from RFE/RL and agency reports


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