Belarus Puts Russian Political Consultant Into 2-Month Detention

MINSK (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 01st August, 2020) Russian political consultant Vitaly Shklyarov, who was detained in Belarus after criticizing a wave of arrests that has marred the local presidential race, will stay in police custody for two months, his lawyer reportedly said Friday.

The lawyer, Anton Gashinsky, was cited as saying by the Belarusian news website tut.by that Shklyarov is suspected of a link to Belarusian YouTuber Sergei Tikhonovsky, detained on charges of plotting unrest and inciting violence against the police.

Shklyarov is a Belarus-born veteran campaign consultant who is said to have helped on the campaigns of US Democrats Barack Obama and as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The 44-year-old was arrested in Gomel on Wednesday. Belarusian state-run television channel ONT reported that he had tried to rally opposition supporters following numerous arrests of opposition figures ahead of the August 9 vote.

One of those arrested is Sergei Tikhonovsky, a popular video blogger whose “Country for Life” channel challenged incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko. His wife, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, is an opposition candidate on the ballot.

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