OTTAWA -- Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay called in the ambassador from Belarus today to demand the immediate release of a Canadian freelance reporter being held in the country.
MacKay also told the ambassador that Canada is partially cutting official ties with Belarus.
Frederick Lavoie was arrested last Friday and quickly sentenced to 15 days in jail after covering an anti-government protest in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.
MacKay says he voiced Canada's condemnation of the recent flawed presidential elections in Belarus, calling them an absolute affront to democratic principles.
Diplomatic relations will now be limited to a consular level, only involving human rights, democratic development, and efforts to destroy landmines.