Belarus police raid opposition homes, offices: NGO

Police raided opposition offices and seized computer equipment, an NGO said.

Minsk: Belarussian police launched sweeping raids on opposition homes and offices as part of its crackdown on protests following Alexander Lukashenko`s re-election, rights groups said.

Police raided the offices of a number of opposition leaders and seized computer equipment, rights group Vesna 96 said.

Belarussian authorities detained more than 600 protestors for 15 days following the unrest on December 19, and 20 people including five opposition leaders face up to 15 years in prison.

European Radio for Belarus, a Poland-based broadcaster funded by the European Union which is not accredited by Minsk, said all of its equipment had been seized in a raid.

Lukashenko, who has ruled the former Soviet state for 16 years, secured a crushing 80 percent of the vote to secure a fourth term.

The crackdown on protestors and the poor quality of the election drew strong criticism from Europe and the United States.

Bureau Report

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