Belarusian police charge 31 people in post-election unrest

January 12th, 2011 - 3:17 am ICT by BNO News  

MINSK, BELARUS (BNO NEWS) — Belarusian police on Tuesday filed charges against 31 participants of post-election mass protests, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Hundreds of people joined the protests that took place on December 19 and December 20 in Minsk after the presidential elections on December 19, police said. As a result, more than 630 people were detained, including four former presidential candidates who could face up to 15 years of imprisonment if convicted. The majority of the detainees have served administrative detention of 10 to 15 days.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Belarusian authorities in a statement issued on Tuesday to release journalists, opposition candidates and their supporters who are still being detained.

President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek also demanded the release of those remaining in prison on Tuesday through a press release announcing the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee on Belarus.

Buzek expressed his particular concern about the health conditions of the “imprisoned and heavily beaten presidential candidates” Uladzimir Nyaklyayew and Andrei Sannikau and urged for medical attention.

Tomorrow, Buzek will participate in the meeting on the situation in Belarus. Representatives of the Belarusian democratic opposition, independent media and civil society are expected to assist.

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