Belarus: President pardons nine convicted for December protests

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has pardoned nine of the 41 people convicted for taking part in the December 19 protests that followed his higly disputed re-election. RFE/RL’s Belarus Service reported that the nine freed had requested an amnesty, admitted taking part in the demonstrations, and pledged not to engage in such activities again. Of the nine amnestied, four have been named as Dimitry Drozd, Artem Gribkov, Serguey Kazakov and Andrei Protasenya. Two more who are thought to have been released have been named as Vladimir Loban and Alexander Klafkovsky, while the names of the remaining three remain unknown.