Belarusian Opposition Figures Detained, Questioned

MINSK -- One Belarusian opposition leader was detained today and a second summoned for questioning by the KGB, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Aleh Korban, who was elected January 29 to be the leader of the youth wing of Belarus's opposition United Civic Party (AHP), was detained by the Committee for State Security (KGB) for reasons that remain unclear.

Korban managed to use his mobile phone to inform the AHP leadership about his detention.

Korban led opposition candidate Yaraslau Ramanchuk's campaign in the December 19 presidential election. He was arrested along with hundreds of other opposition activists and supporters on December 19 for taking part in the unsanctioned protests against official election results naming incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka the winner.

On January 7, Korban was released from detention but was told not to leave Minsk pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation of those protests.

Zmitser Salauyou, the chairman of the opposition Belarusian Popular Front (BNF) party's branch in the eastern city of Mahileu, was summoned by the KGB earlier today as a witness in a case supervised by an investigator named Makhunou. No further details were given.

It was the second subpoena Salauyou has received from the KGB since January 12, when he was informed that an investigation had been launched into his "illegal activities connected with organizing unsanctioned mass gatherings in 2010." Salauyou lodged a complaint about those accusations with Belarusian KGB Chairman Vadzim Zaytsau.

On January 15, KGB officers searched Salauyou's apartment and confiscated the hard drive of his computer, two Belarusian national white-and-red flags, and his video camera with footage of the mass protests on Minsk's Independence Square that followed the disputed December presidential election.


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