Editor of opposition website found dead in authoritarian Belarus, cause of death not clear

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — A popular opposition website in authoritarian Belarus says its editor was found dead amid an ongoing crackdown on government critics and independent media.

Natalya Radina of the Charter97 website said 36-year-old Oleg Bebenin's body was found Friday in his country house outside the capital, Minsk. She says the cause of death was not immediately clear.

Police refused to comment.

Bebenin founded the website in 1998 and maintained it despite growing official pressure.

Run by authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko since 1994, Belarus has been labeled Europe's last dictatorship. Television and most print media are state-controlled, and many independent newspapers ordered closed have taken refuge in cyberspace.