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Belarusian Court Sentences More Than 30 for Protests


Belarusian police push back demonstrators in downtown Minsk
A Belarusian court has sentenced more than 30 people to up to 15 days in prison for participating in opposition rallies Tuesday marking the 19th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

The defendants include Belarusians, five Ukrainians and two Russian journalists. They were taken into custody during rallies in the Belarus capital, Minsk. Riot police broke up the gatherings.

The demonstrators were protesting against the authoritarian government of President Alexander Lukashenko and calling for increased aid to Chernobyl victims.

A 1986 explosion destroyed a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine and spread radiation over wide areas of Europe.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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