MINSK, October 11. /TASS/. All TASS correspondents - Yuri Shamshur, Gavriil Grigorov and Valery Stepchenkov - detained earlier on Sunday when covering protests in Minsk have been released from the district office of the internal affairs.
Grigorov and Stepchenkov were apprehended for the second time and again walked free after a document check. Later Shamshur, who was also held when covering the protests, called the editorial office to inform that he had been released.
All TASS correspondents had received the Belarusian Foreign Ministry’s accreditation to work in Minsk.
Belarus held the presidential election on August 9. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.