Belarus expels Russian rights activist

The Belarusian secret police has given Russian human rights activist Andrei Yurov 24 hours to leave the country, the head of rights group Vesna said on Thursday.

Andrei Yurov, who heads an international group monitoring the situation with human rights in Belarus, was arrested on Wednesday.

"According to our information, Andrei Yurov is banned from re-entering Belarus until 2013," Activist Valentin Stefanovich said.

He said the Belarusian secret service, still called by the Soviet name KGB, accused Yurov of "meddling with Belarus's domestic affairs."

The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch on Monday published a report on Monday detailing persecution of opposition candidates and activists, abuse of detainees and trials behind closed doors in the months following an anti-government protest in December.

The Belarusian authorities are still investigating more than 46 individuals on riot charges related to the protest, including seven former presidential candidates. Four have already been convicted and sentenced to up to four years in prison. Two Russians have been released but requested to pay hefty fines.

MINSK, March 17 (RIA Novosti)


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