MINSK -- The Belarusian authorities have detained the former ambassador to Slovakia, Ihar Lyashchenya, who has openly supported the mass protests against the official results of last year's disputed presidential election.
A group of Belarusian volunteers involved in locating detainees on August 12 listed Lyashchenya among dozens of individuals held in Minsk's notorious Akrestsina detention center.
The former diplomat was taken away by police the previous day after his home was searched.
It was unclear why his home was searched and on what charges he was being held.
Authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka in September 2020 stripped Lyashchenya of his diplomat status and relieved him of his diplomatic rank because of his "misconduct."
Lyashchenya had resigned from the post of Belarus's envoy to Bratislava on August 18 after he publicly supported the rallies sweeping Belarus following the August 9 election that the opposition says was rigged to hand Lukashenka a sixth term in office.
Lukashenka, in power since 1994, has unleashed a harsh crackdown on the pro-democracy movement, while the West has hit the Belarusian strongman, his inner circle, and Belarusian firms with several rounds of sanctions, leaving him internationally isolated.