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Number of people detained in Belarus protests nears 7,000 — UN expert

Belarusian Interior Ministry informed of over 6,000 persons detained during protests

UNITED NATIONS, August 14. /TASS/. Nearly 7,000 people have been detained in the first four days of protests in Belarus, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Belarus Anais Marin told TASS on Friday.

"According to the data I have, according to the data provided by Belarusian human rights organizations, as of yesterday, that is, in four days of protests, over 6,000 people have been detained. In the morning, there were reports of 6,700 people detained, but by the evening, this number may have risen," she said. Marin noted that "some detained persons have been released already."

"However, before the vote, during the protests held since April, over 1,500 people were detained, according to our information, with criminal proceedings launched against at least 26 of them. Some human rights organizations are calling them political prisoners," the UN rapporteur said.

Earlier, the Belarusian Interior Ministry informed of over 6,000 persons detained during the protests taking place in Belarus since August 9.

Belarus held a presidential election on August 9. According to the final results provided by the Belarusian Central Election Commission on August 14, incumbent President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko got 80.1% of the vote. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who was considered his main opponent, came in second with 10.12%.

After exit poll results were announced in the evening of August 9, protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other regions of the country, leading to clashes between protesters and the law enforcement. The protests continued over the following days. As a result, several thousand people were detained, dozens of police officers and protesters were injured.