x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Belarus arrests seven candidates after Lukashenko wins

Belarus arrests seven out of nine opposition candidates who stood in elections against President Alexander Lukashenko after protesters alleged fraud in his landslide re-election.

MINSK, Belarus // Belarus has arrested seven out of the nine opposition candidates who stood in elections against President Alexander Lukashenko, their representatives said on Monday.

Candidates Andrei Sannikov, Nikolai Statkevich, Rygor Katusev and Vitaly Rymanshevsky, Ales Mikhalevich, Vladimir Nekliaev and Dmitry Uss have all been arrested, their representatives said.

This means that of the nine opposition candidates, only Yaroslav Romanchuk and Viktor Tereshenko remain at liberty.

The opposition officials also said that several of their offices had been raided by the authorities.

Belarus police in the early hours arrested hundreds of protesters as they broke up a mass demonstration alleging fraud in the landslide re-election of Lukashenko. The move prompted the US to slam Belarus for using excessive force on the protesters, the embassy in Minsk said.