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Belarusian authorities charge 25 protestors over post-election riots

RIA Novosti

02:50 07/01/2011 MINSK, January 7 (RIA Novosti) - A total of 25 suspects, two of them Russian nationals, were charged over the recent post-election mass riots in Minsk, a Belarusian human rights organization said.

"A total of 25 people were charged in connection with the riots, 23 of them are in custody and two have been placed under a restraining order," the Vesna human rights center said in a statement, adding that five losing presidential candidates are among those charged.

Eight people are still listed as suspects and may be charged later.

Thousands of people took to the streets after election results gave Belarusian permanent leader Alexander Lukashenko – often referred to as "Europe's last dictator" – 79.7 percent of the vote. The opposition alleged vote rigging.

More than 600 protesters were detained and many injured, including eleven Russians. They were handed jail sentences of between 10 and 15 days, but later released.

However on December 30, Belarusian Police said two of the previously released Russians had been detained again for the same charges.

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