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Rights Group: More Than 1,000 Arrested in Belarus Protests

  • Associated Press

Activists, detained at a rally, are escorted by police officers as they leave a police van for a court hearing in Minsk, Belarus, March 27, 2017.

A Belarusian human rights group says more than 1,000 people have been arrested for weekend protests in the former Soviet Republic and that about 150 of them have been sentenced to jail terms of up to 25 days.

Opponents of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko held unsanctioned demonstrations Saturday in Minsk, the capital, and other Belarusian cities, at which arrests were widespread. Other arrests took place in Minsk on Sunday when demonstrators demanded to know the detainees' whereabouts.

Authorities have made no comment on the arrests.

Vladimir Lobkovich of the Vesna human rights group on Monday called the sentencings a "judicial conveyor.''

The weekend demonstrations were part of an unusually persistent wave of anti-government protests in the former Soviet republic.

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