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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Speaks Out On Belarus Arrest

WASHINGTON -- Belarus' arrest of a prominent dissident and moves by the government to reunite with Russia have been criticized by the U.S. State Department.

"We've been very up front about our problems with the Belarussian government," spokesman Nicholas Burns said Thursday.

The arrest of Yury Khadyka, an art historian, human rights advocate and opponent of reintegration, was protested in Minsk and to the Belarussian Embassy in Washington, the U.S. official said.

Also, Burns said, the State Department criticized Belarus in its recent annual human rights report to Congress for restricting the press, freedom of assembly and trade unions.

On Thursday in Minsk, riot police clashed with veterans when they tried to unfurl national flags at Victory Day opposition rally.