Accessibility links

Belarusian Riot Police Break-Up Election Protest


Riot police in Belarus have cleared the square in central Minsk where demonstrators were holding round-the-clock protests against President Alexander Lukashenko's reelection.

Police stormed the area and detained hundreds of demonstrators shortly after the protests entered their sixth day.

A police commander Wednesday had promised not break up the demonstration, which he called "pathetic."

Hundreds of demonstrators had set up tents in Minsk's October Square, denouncing last Sunday's presidential election as a fraud. They have demanded the results be thrown out and a new vote held.

The United States and European election monitors gave also condemned the vote. But Russian monitors called it free and transparent.

Election officials say President Lukashenko won a third term with 83 percent of the vote. Main opposition candidate Alexander Milinkevich won six percent.

The United States has called Mr. Lukashenko Europe's last dictator because of his suppression of human rights and free speech. Washington and the European Union plan new sanctions against Belarus because of the apparently fraudulent election.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG