Belarus court jails protesters

A Belarussian court has jailed about a dozen protesters who were demanding President Alexander Lukashenko's resignation in the latest crackdown against dissent in the ex-Soviet state.

    Several hundred rallied against Lukashenko's rule on Friday

    The Minsk central court handed out on Monday sentences of up to 15 days in jail for some of the several hundred protesters who had gathered near Lukashenko's office on Friday.

    Belarus's small, divided opposition hoped to exploit protests which led to authorities being toppled in ex-Soviet Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. But while discontent with low living standards is rising, resistance remains limited.

    Andrei Klimov, former member of parliament and protest organizer, remained at liberty, but police said he might still face charges.

    "No one appeared in court by accident. We have plenty of proof for all of them - video film, witness accounts," Interior Ministry spokesman Oleg Slepchenko said.

    "This was a mass violation of public order. Some taking part were aggressive, hurling snowballs and chunks of ice at police."

    Several protesters suffered minor injuries at the illegal rally to mark the founding of the Belarussian People's Republic in 1918, crushed after little over a year by the Bolsheviks.

    First elected in 1994 on promises to uproot corruption and form a "union state" with Russia, Lukashenko keeps a tight grip on his country of 10 million, now bordering the European Union.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Pick your team and answer as many correct questions in three minutes.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.