Thousands in Belarus protest against government
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Last Updated: Monday, March 26, 2012, 00:31
Minsk: Several thousand people have turned out for an anti-government rally in Belarus to call for the freeing of political prisoners and for the former Soviet republic to become a European-style democracy.

Today's protest rally was the largest since authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko won another term in a December 2010 election and intensified his crackdown on the opposition.

The opposition has traditionally held rallies on March 25 to mark the anniversary of Belarus' short-lived declaration of independence from Russia in 1918.

Lukashenko's government usually bans the rallies and sends police in to break them up.

This year, the protesters were allowed to gather peacefully, but each one had to pass through security controls and be photographed.


First Published: Monday, March 26, 2012, 00:31

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