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You're reading: Belarus opposition asks Lukashenko to free rights campaigner Belyatsky

MINSK - Belarusian opposition activists have handed over a letter in support of jailed rights campaigner Ales Belyatsky to President Alexander Lukashenko.

“A letter in Belyatsky support has been submitted to the presidential
administration today,” sources in the unregistered rights center
Vyasna, led by Belyatsky, told Interfax on Friday.

“We think the rights campaigner’s conviction was unlawful and was
connected with his work. His arrest was the result of the authorities’
long-lasting policy with regards to rights campaigners and public
organizations,” the letter says.

The authors also urged the authorities to stop putting pressure and
persecuting members of the civil society and rights community, and to
bring the national legislation into line with international human rights
standards.

The letter was signed by the chief of the Belarusian Helsinki
Committee Oleg Gulak, leaders of the Movement for Freedom,
ex-presidential candidate Alexander Milinkevich and deputy head of the
Belarusian Journalists Association Andrei Bastunets.

Belyatsky was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison in the autumn of 2011
after he was found guilty of large-scale concealment of income.

August 3 marks a year since he was detained.

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