Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Young opposition activist forcibly taken to military recruitment office in Homyel for health examination

Young opposition activist Andrey Tsyanyuta was forcibly taken to a recruitment office in Homyel on August 10 for health examination to evaluate his fitness for military service.

As Mr. Tsyanyuta told BelaPAN over the phone, he was driven to the recruitment office by policemen who had picked him up near his house.

Mr. Tsyanyuta did not come to the office on July 24 despite receiving a summons ordering him to be there on that date. In his letter to the recruitment office, the young man explained that he was eligible for deferment from military service as a student of the Bryansk Agricultural Academy in Russia. In its reply, the recruitment office said that the part-time second-year student had been expelled from the Academy as far back as June 16.

"That was unexpected because the Academy had not notified me of its decision," Mr. Tsyanyuta said. "It turns out that the recruitment office had been aware of my expulsion even before I learned about it. What's more, there were no flaws in my academic record and I don't know why I was flunked out. I'm sure that was done retroactively."

On August 8, the young man visited the Academy and was given a copy of the expulsion order, which cited academic failure as the grounds for his expulsion.

Mr. Tsyanyuta dismissed the explanation, accusing the authorities of persecuting him for political motives.

The young man has repeatedly been detained by police, jailed and fined over alleged public order violations. He faced a criminal charge of acting on behalf of an unregistered organization because of his membership in an opposition youth group called Malady Front.