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February 25, 2021
WORLD

Belarus jails 600 activists over election unrest

MINSK – The Belarus authorities have jailed about 600 demonstrators for up to two weeks in a crackdown on protests against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, BBC News said. Some detainees may face longer terms – as much as 15 years – if found guilty of taking part in “mass disturbances”.
At least seven presidential candidates were among those detained. Some of them were reportedly also beaten by police. Observers called the poll “flawed” and the US and EU condemned the crackdown. The Russian Union of Journalists has demanded the immediate release of journalists arrested while covering the protests in the capital Minsk. They have urged the Kremlin to put pressure on Belarus to free their colleagues. A correspondent for the AFP news agency was held for 17 hours on Monday before being released without explanation.


Lukashenko, in power since 1994, was re-elected for a fourth term with almost 80% of the vote. He dismissed the criticism of the election, saying he could not imagine what else he could have done to make the elections more democratic.

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