Just in: Police detain over 300 protesters

Authorities on Monday said 313 protesters had been remanded in custody pending trial following an unauthorised mass rallies in Belarus.

There have been mass protests in Belarus every weekend for nearly five months as the political opposition remains determined in its efforts to oust long-time President Alexander Lukashenko.

The Belarusian Interior Ministry said in a statement, “Yesterday in total throughout the country, 313 people were remanded for violating legislation on mass events.’’

The Belarusian human rights organisation Viasna, which closely monitors the protest movement, said that at least 416 people were detained, according to a report on its website.

Lukashenko, 66, has led the former Soviet republic in Eastern Europe, between Russia and EU state Poland, for more than a quarter century, tolerating little dissent.

The political opposition contests that Lukashenko’s government fabricated the results of the most recent presidential election, on Aug. 9, to maintain his grip on power.

The European Union has denounced the election as “neither free nor fair” and refused to recognize Lukashenko as the current president. (dpa/NAN)

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