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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moskovskiye Novosti Reporter Beaten

MINSK, Belarus — An opposition journalist and parliamentary candidate has been beaten up in his apartment building hallway in Minsk, his wife said Friday.

Alexander Feduta, 35, a reporter for Russia’s Moskovskiye Novosti weekly and Belarus’ opposition newspaper People’s Will, suffered a concussion, broken tooth and broken nose in the attack Thursday night, said Marina Feduta.

Belarussian police are treating the attack as hooliganism, she said.

But the attack comes against the background of the campaign for Sunday’s parliamentary election in Belarus, where opposition figures have disappeared, journalists have been jailed and independent newspapers closed by the government of authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko.

Moscow News said in a statement carried by Interfax that "we are inclined to think that the attack was carried out because of his journalistic activities and his political opposition to the regime of President Lukashenko."

Feduta worked as a Lukashenko public relations aide until 1994, when he quit in protest against the crackdown on independent media.