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English

Three opposition activists linked to campaign against Chinese industrial park detained for hours in Minsk region

Three activists of the "Tell the Truth!" movement were detained by police in Smalyavichy after they attended a meeting of summer cottage owners protesting plans for the construction of a Belarusian-Chinese industrial park in the Minsk region.

Andrey Dzmitryyew, deputy chairman of the opposition movement, as well as Mikhail Pashkevich and Yury Hanchar were arrested during the meeting and released hours later without charges. Vasil Kazlowski, chairman of a local association of dacha owners, was also arrested but police let him go almost immediately afterward.

As Mr. Hanchar told BelaPAN, he and the fellow activists were interviewed by police officers for four hours, mainly about an April 10 meeting attended by some 700 people who fear that their dachas may be demolished to make way for the construction of the industrial park in the Smalyavichy district.

In December 2011, the National Assembly ratified an interstate agreement for the construction of the Belarusian-Chinese industrial park, which would be located some 30 kilometers northeast of Minsk and occupy some 80 square kilometers.

In February this year, the "Tell the Truth!" movement began collecting signatures for a petition against the construction of the park.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka said in December last year that Chinese companies would invest dozens of billions of dollars in the project, whose scale he described as unprecedented even for China. "The most state-of-the-art enterprises will be started," he said. "Companies from all over the world will be involved."

Companies resident in the park would specialize in fine chemistry, the production of nano- and biopharmaceuticals, machine-building and electronics. //BelaPAN

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