MINSK : Riot police swiftly detained dozens at a protest march in Belarus on Sunday after strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko raised hopes for a change by meeting jailed opposition figures.

Large number of black-clad masked police , internal troops and men in plainclothes emerged from unmarked minibuses and ran towards protesters in the capital Minsk, pulling some to the ground, witness footage on independent news sites showed.

The Viasna rights group, which monitors detentions at political protests, said at least 39 people had been detained in Minsk as well as around a dozen in other cities.

Among those detained were journalists from Russia's TASS state news agency, although they were later released, the agency reported.

Protesters have gathered every weekend since Lukashenko claimed victory in August9 elections over a popular opposition candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovaskaya, who claims to have been the true winner.

The European Union and the United States have refused to recognize Lukashenko inauguration for the sixth term, saying the polls were not free and fair and condemning alleged abuse and torture of detained protesters. [AFP]


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!