Belarus critic's son allowed to stay in family

MINSK, Belarus (AP) - Authorities in Belarus have allowed the 3-year-old son of a jailed presidential candidate and opponent of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko to remain with his family after threatening to place him in an orphanage.

Andrei Sannikov was arrested along with six other presidential candidates in mass protests during Lukashenko's Dec. 19 re-election, which was seen as rigged. The boy's mother, Irina Khalip, was also detained. KGB security forces gave Khalip's mother, Lyutsina, until the end of January to prove she was fit to care for her grandson, Danil Sannikov.

Belarusian media reported Friday the grandmother had been declared a legal guardian.

The threat to take away Danil Sannikov was alarming because it recalled the Stalinist practice of seizing the children of enemies of the people.


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