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Belarusian ex-presidential candidate released from custody

RIA Novosti

14:05 03/01/2011

MINSK, January 3 (RIA Novosti) - Ex-presidential candidate Vitaly Rymashevsky detained two weeks ago over his involvement in Belarus post-election rally has been released, his party's website said.

"Rymashevsky wrote a letter of explanation to [President Alexander] Lukashenko. After that he was released," the website of the Belarusian Christian Democrat Party said.

The ex-presidential candidate was released from the KGB (State Security Committee) pre-trial detention center on January 1 on pledge not to leave the country, it said.

Rymashevsky, 35, was one of six Belarusian ex-presidential candidates who were detained in Minsk on December 19 after taking part in rally against the results of the election.

The election saw Alexander Lukashenko, dubbed "Europe's last dictator" by the West, win a landslide to secure a fourth term in office. The opposition alleged vote rigging.

The Belarusian Prosecutor General's Office said Monday all the ex-presidential candidates currently held in custody are 'healthy.' The statement was made after checks were carried out at the KGB detention facility upon requests of the relatives.

The relatives claimed the detained persons were feeling sick and complained of unacceptably bad conditions at the detention center.

Belarus is expected to release some 150 people who were held during the unsanctioned rally in Minsk. More than 630 people were detained at the rally and some 400, including Russian nationals, have been released.

Police dispersed the demonstration when the crowd tried to storm parliament following the announcement of election results. President Lukashenko claimed that foreigners were behind the protests.



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