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Feb 17, 2011

Belarus election protester sentenced to four years

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarus, in a speedy one-day trial, Thursday sentenced an opposition activist to four years in a top-security jail for his part in a rally against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko last December.

Vasily Parfenkov, 27, was the first to be tried of about 30 people being held after a police crackdown on the December 19 protest in the ex-Soviet republic that has triggered Western sanctions against Lukashenko.

Feb 17, 2011

Belarus jails election protester for four years

MINSK (Reuters) – A Belarus court Thursday sentenced an opposition activist to four years in a top-security jail for taking part in mass unrest during a rally last December against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Vasily Parfenkov, 27, was the first to be tried of about 30 people held after a police crackdown on a December 19 protest rally in Minsk and who include four opposition presidential candidates.

Jan 29, 2011

Belarus releases detainees as EU readies sanctions

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarus on Saturday released seven detainees, including a former candidate for the presidency, who were arrested in December during mass street protests over the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko.

The move came on the eve of an expected announcement by the European Union that it will reinstate a visa ban on Lukashenko and other Belarussian officials in response to his crackdown on protests following his disputed re-election in December.

Jan 21, 2011

Belarus president sworn in after disputed election

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in on Friday in a ceremony boycotted by Western ambassadors after his re-election last month in what the opposition and international monitors said was a rigged vote.

The former Soviet republic has brushed off all criticism of the elections, which were followed by huge street protests when hundreds of people were arrested.

Jan 17, 2011

Belarus readies quick inauguration for Lukashenko

MINSK, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Belarussian President Alexander
Lukashenko, re-elected last month in what the opposition and
international monitors said was a rigged vote, may be
inaugurated as early as Friday, an election official said.

“January 21 is being considered as a working date. It is a
tentative date. The date will be set finally by the presidential
administration,” Nikolai Lazovik, secretary of the central
electoral commission, told Reuters.

Jan 14, 2011

Belarus accuses Poland, Germany of plotting “coup”

MINSK (Reuters) – State-controlled media in Belarus accused the intelligence services of Germany and Poland on Friday of trying to organize a coup during last month’s presidential election in the former Soviet republic.

A Polish official dismissed the charge as “absurd.” A spokesman for Germany’s BND foreign intelligence service declined comment on the matter.

Jan 11, 2011

Calm in Moscow, Minsk over Belarus oil halt, tariffs

MOSCOW/MINSK, Jan 11 (Reuters) – A halt in Russian oil sales
to Belarus and a rise in the tariff charged by Minsk on Russian
oil transit to Europe cast a new pall on their often tense
relationship, but both sides hastened to say the problems were
technical.

Russian oil flows across Belarus via the Druzhba pipeline to
European customers in Germany and Poland were unaffected, trade
sources said.

Dec 28, 2010

Belarus’ Lukashenko reshuffles govt, names new PM

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko replaced his prime minister of seven years on Tuesday with another long-time ally in a reshuffle that comes less than two weeks after the presidential election.

The country’s opposition and international observers have complained of mistreatment of Lukashenko’s opponents and lack of transparency in the vote count. Some former presidential candidates and nearly 700 protesters and journalists were arrested in post-voting demonstrations dispersed by riot police.

Dec 23, 2010

Five detained Belarus candidates may face charges

MINSK (Reuters) – Authorities in Belarus may charge five former presidential candidates being held on suspicion of organizing protests over the disputed vote in the former Soviet republic last weekend, police told Reuters on Thursday.

The five candidates and 14 other opposition activists detained in a crackdown on protests over the vote on Sunday will not be released and may face charges of “organizing mass disorder,” Minsk police spokesman Alexander Lastovsky said.

Dec 21, 2010

Belarus jails more than 600 opposition activists

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarus jailed more than 600 opposition activists on Tuesday, ignoring Western criticism of a police crackdown on protesters following the contested re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko.

The activists were imprisoned for between five and 15 days, the Interior Ministry said.