Russia Seeks Explanation After Activist Detained In Belarus

MINSK -- The Russian Embassy is seeking an explanation from Belarusian authorities after a Russian human rights activist was detained in the capital, Minsk, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Well-known activist Andrei Yurov, who traveled to Minsk this week to assess the human rights situation in Belarus, was detained on March 16.

The police who detained Yurov told him his name is on a list of foreigners who are banned from entering the Republic of Belarus.

There is no passport control for passengers arriving in Belarus from Russia, as the two countries have a visa-free regime. Yurov's arrival in Minsk therefore was not recorded by border-control officials.

Vadim Gusev, an official at the Russian Embassy in Minsk, told RFE/RL that the embassy has sent an official note to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry requesting an explanation for Yurov's detention. Gusev added that the Russian Embassy will do its best to protect Yurov's rights.

Yurov's colleagues in Belarus say police confiscated his personal belongings and mobile phone.


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