Deutsche Welle journalist sentenced in Belarus to 20 days

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MOSCOW (AP) — German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle says one of its freelance correspondents has been sentenced to 20 days in jail in Belarus.

DW said in a statement that Alexander Burakov was sentenced Saturday for taking part in an “unauthorized event.” It said Burakov was arrested on Wednesday while waiting with other journalists for access to the trial of six people charged with mass unrest.

Belarus has launched widespread detentions and trials in connection with the wave of protests that arose last year against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, who took office for a sixth term after an August election that opposition figures said was rigged.

“Classifying the group of journalists waiting outside the courthouse on May 12 as a ‘banned gathering’ is another step by Lukashenko’s regime to suppress critical media reports,” the DW statement said.

Burakov said Saturday that he was repeatedly awakened at night and forced to strip naked while in pre-trial detention, according to DW.

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