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You're reading: Rights group: Social network activists detained in Belarus

MINSK - Belarussian police have detained at least four people who were involved in running an anti-government online group on the popular social network Vkontakte.ru, local human rights group Vesna-96 said on Thursday.

Police could not be reached for comment.

Vesna-96 published the names of four people who it said were
moderators of an online group called “We are sick of this
Lukashenko”, a reference to President Alexander Lukashenko who
has run the former Soviet republic since 1994.

The group’s page was unavailable on Thursday. Vesna said “a
few more” people linked to the group had been detained but did
not name them.

Lukashenko, who tolerates little dissent and has been
targeted by European Union sanctions including a travel ban over
his crackdown on opposition, faced a wave of protests last year
that were organised through social networks.

Police detained about 1,500 people during those protests and
hundreds were sentenced fines and short jail terms.

Belarus will hold a parliamentary election on September 23,
certain to yield a legislature loyal to Lukashenko.

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