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Opposition seeking permission to stage Chernobyl anniversary demonstration in Minsk

A group of opposition leaders have applied to the Minsk City Executive Committee for permission to stage a traditional demonstration to mark the Chernobyl nuclear accident that occurred on April 26, 1986 While talking to reporters in Minsk on Thursday, Viktar Ivashkevich, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) who is co-organizing the event, said that the application also had been signed by BPF Chairman Lyavon Barshchewski, Deputy Chairman Vintsuk Vyachorka, Anatol Lyabedzka, leader of the United Civic Party, and Syarhey Kalyakin, chairman of the Belarusian Party of Communists.

The Movement for Freedom, which is led by former presidential candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich, also has joined the organizing committee for the demonstration, dubbed by the opposition as Charnobylski Shlyakh (Path of Chernobyl). The organizers want participants to gather in front of the National Academy of Sciences on April 26 at noon and march along Independence Avenue, Vera Kharuzhey, Maksim Bahdanovich and Kulman Streets to a church at the intersection between Karastayanavay and Arlowskaya Streets, where a rally is to be held, Mr. Ivashkevich said. Members of Chernobyl-Belarus Union, an association of former Chernobyl cleanup workers, have already agreed to join the demonstration, according to Mr. Ivashkevich. Syarhey PULSHA


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