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Thursday, August 04, 2005

 

Belarusian-Polish activist on hunger strike

From The Financial Times:

An ethnic Polish activist under arrest in Belarus yesterday began a hunger strike as police began to jail local Poles who attended the weekend visit of a Polish politician.

The tension has been caused by the attempt of the authoritarian government of President Alexander Lukashenko to gain control of the Union of Poles in Belarus, which represents the country's 500,000 Poles - 5 per cent of its population. The organisation is the largest of any type not under government control.

The hunger striker, Andrzej Pisalnik, is an informal spokesman for the group. He was sentenced to 10 to 15 days in jail for taking part in an unauthorised concert on July 3 celebrating Belarus's independence day.

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