Organization: More than 600 protesters arrested during the latest protests in Belarus

 The human rights organization Viasna in Belarus announced today, Monday, that more than 600 demonstrators have been arrested during new mass protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Viasna said several journalists were arrested in the protests on Sunday, which drew tens of thousands to the streets across the country.

No official figures were available from the Interior Ministry.

Security forces tried to disperse the demonstrators in a rally in the capital, Minsk, using stun grenades, tear gas and water cannons. The photos showed policemen beating and chasing protesters with batons. A number of people were injured.

It was the ninth consecutive weekend of protests since the disputed presidential election on August 9, in which Lukashenko announced that he won 80% of the vote, while the opposition says the real winner is the exiled leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

The European Union did not recognize the election results. Lukashenko, 66, has led Belarus, a former Soviet republic located between Russia and European Union member Poland, for more than a quarter of a century, and has tolerated little opposition.


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