Dozens of demonstrators, journalists detained in Minsk as opposition protests continue - RFE/RL
Belarusian police have detained dozens of protesters and journalists working for local and foreign media in the capital, Minsk, as demonstrations and strikes challenging the results of this month’s presidential election continued for a 19th day, as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported..
A total of 16 journalists were detained in the central Freedom Square on the evening of August 27, according to the human rights center Vyasna, as they prepared to cover a demonstration calling for President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's resignation and demanding new elections be carried out in a free and fair manner.
The journalists were put in a minibus to be brought to a police station for officers to check whether they had valid accreditation allowing them to work in the country, according to the Interior Ministry.
Those detained included Uladzimir Gridin, a photographer working for RFE/RL’s Belarus Service, known locally as Radio Svaboda (Radio Liberty), and journalists from TUT.BY, BelaPAN, Belsat, TASS, the Associated Press, and other media. Most of them were later released.
After the detentions, hundreds of anti-government protesters gathered on the square before marching toward Independence Square.
There, police dispersed a crowd of about 1,000 demonstrators and detained 189 people, the rights NGO Vyasna reported.
More than 10 journalists were among those detained, including three working for Radio Svaboda -- Aleh Hruzdzilovich, Andrey Rabchykai, and Ales Dashchynski.
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