Fri, 02 Oct 2020

Belarusian authorities have detained three correspondents from Current Time in the capital, Minsk, just days before the country holds a crucial presidential election.

The three reporters -- Irina Romaliyskaya, Yuri Baranyuk, and Ivan Grebenyuk -- were detained on August 7 at a Minsk hotel and taken to a police station.

Belarus Votes For President

Read our coverage as voters in Belarus decide on August 9 whether President Alyaksandr Lukashenka will continue after 26 years in power.

It was not immediately clear why the reporters were detained.

Romaliyskaya and Grebenyuk are citizens of Ukraine, while Baranyuk is a Russian citizen.

Current Time is a Russian-language TV network produced by RFE/RL with assistance from VOA.

The August 9 election is shaping up to be among the biggest challenges to President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's 26-year rule.

Opposition candidates, including Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, have mustered sizable rallies in cities and towns across the country.

Thousands gathered in a Minsk park on August 6 in support of Tsikhanouskaya, with demonstrators later marching through the city's streets clapping and chanting 'Long live Belarus!' and 'Go away!"

The latter chant was an apparent reference to Lukashenka.

Authorities have detained several members of Tsikhanouskaya's campaign team as well as supporters, accusing them of holding unsanctioned rallies.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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