Two Swedish election observers were taken into custody by the Belarusian police Tuesday.
After several hours of interrogation, they were released and ordered to leave the country within 24 hours. The two, who are members of the Swedish Liberal Party, were accused of breaking a law against conducting opinion polls. They were in the former Soviet republic to monitor this Sunday's presidential elections.
Six Danish election observers were also taken into custody Tuesday and ordered to leave Belarus. The same day the Belarusian authorities arrested nearly two dozen opposition activists and confiscated the entire print run of the largest independent newspaper.
Belarus has been described as the last dictatorship in Europe.