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26.03.2007

Demonstrators in Minsk dispersed with water cannons

   

The Belarusian opposition’s protest on Sunday in Minsk to mark Freedom Day ended with its being broken up and some of those participated being detained.
According to the radio station Ekho Moskvy, around 30 people are presently being held in different police stations in the city.
The radio station reports that around 700 people did not disperse after the rally outside the Academy of Sciences, but headed in procession in the direction of the National Library where festivities and a popular concert, allowed by the authorities, were being held. As the demonstrators approached, the official concert was stopped, and the participants in the opposition protest were driven away with streams of water.
The day before, law enforcement agencies in Belarus detained several dozen opposition figures. Overall around 100 people have now been detained.
According to Radio Svoboda correspondents around 5 thousand people took part in the demonstration on Sunday. Among the opposition figures who took part were Alexandr Milinkevich and Anatoly Lebedko.
The participants called on the authorities to begin democratic reforms in Belarus and demanded the release of all opposition activists detained by the law enforcement bodies.
Based on reports from www.unian.net and www.radiosvoboda.org

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