Belarusian KGB Summons Opposition Activist In Mahileu

MAHILEU, Belarus -- The KGB office in the eastern Belarusian city of Mahileu has summoned a local opposition activist for questioning, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Alyaksandr Silkou, the campaign manager in Mahileu for opposition presidential candidate Ales Mikhalevich, told RFE/RL that a KGB officer who introduced himself as Alyaksandr Tserahau called him and told him to come to KGB headquarters.

He said Silkou was wanted as a witness in the "mass unrest" in Minsk on December 19.

Silkou was not in Minsk that day, but was in Mahileu monitoring the presidential election.

On December 19, thousands of opposition activists and their supporters gathered on Independence Square in Minsk to protest the official results of the presidential election that gave incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka the runaway victory.

The protesters insisted the election was rigged. International election monitors said the vote was filled with irregularities and did not meet international standards.

Hundreds of the protesters were beaten and/or jailed on December 19-20. They were charged with organizing and/or participating in "mass unrest."

Silkou told RFE/RL he was most likely summoned to the KGB offices in connection with a statement by Mikhalevich in Minsk on February 28 in which he compared the KGB jail where he was held for two months to a "concentration camp."

Mikhalevich told journalists the prison guards made him stand outside naked in cold weather, deprived him of sleep, dragged him on the floor while handcuffed, kept him in an overcrowded cell, and interrogated him without a lawyer present.


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