Belarus police arrest over 400 protesters; many are beaten

Police in Belarus cracked down hard Saturday on opposition protesters who tried to hold a forbidden demonstration in the capital – a human rights group said more than 400 people were arrested and many were beaten. The demonstrators had hoped to build on a rising wave of defiance of the former Soviet republic’s authoritarian government, led by President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled since 1994. About 700 people had tried to march Saturday along Minsk’s main avenue, but were blocked by a cordon of riot police wielding clubs and holding shields. After a standoff, the arrests began.

— source nbc-2.com

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