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Opposition Leader Arrested as Belarus Police Break Up Rally

  • VOA News

Belarus police using truncheons and shields arrested opposition presidential candidate Alexander Kozulin when they broke up a protest in Minsk on Saturday.

Witnesses say protesters were beaten as they tried to march to a detention center holding people arrested at protests earlier in the week. The march followed a rally of about seven thousand people in a Minsk park earlier in the day, led by top opposition candidate Alexander Milinkevich. That rally was the latest to call for a new and fair presidential election.

On March 19th, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won a landslide victory in balloting that independent election observers and western diplomats said was fatally flawed. The U.S. and the European Union announced sanctions against Mr. Lukashenko's government earlier this week. However, Russia has remained a firm supporter of the Belarusian leader.

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