By VOA News
The Committee to Protect Journalists says Belarusian authorities have detained more than two dozen journalists covering the country's disputed March 19 presidential election and the protests that followed.
The U.S.-based media rights group says it gathered information about the jailed reporters from the Belarusian Association of Journalists and other local media.
The Committee to Protect Journalists says many of those being held in the capital, Minsk, have been charged with hooliganism and taking part in illegal protests. But it says Belarusian authorities have provided few details to back up the charges.
The group says journalists from at least five foreign countries are being held, including Canada, Georgia, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. It says five detained journalists were sentenced Monday to jail terms of eight to 10 days, while another reporter was fined $430.
Belarusian police detained many of the journalists last Friday, when police stormed the capital's October Square to forcibly evict hundreds of opposition protesters.
The demonstrators were demanding a rerun of the election after President Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory in a landslide. The United States and the European Union called the vote deeply flawed.