Belarusian authorities briefly detain Russian rights activist, order him to leave

By: The Associated Press

MINSK, Belarus - Belarusian authorities have briefly detained a Russian human rights activist and ordered him to leave the country.

Andrei Yurov, a member of respected Moscow Helsinki Group, was briefly held for interrogation early Thursday and was given 24 hours to leave Belarus.

Belarusian rights activist Valentin Stefanovich said the government expelled Yurov fearing that he could collect information about the ongoing crackdown on dissent after December's presidential election.

More than 700 people, including seven presidential candidates, were arrested after massive protests against fraud in the vote in which authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected. International observers said the vote was rigged.

More than 30 of those detained, including two presidential candidates have remained in custody.


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