The first group of prisoners convicted in connection with protests against the reelection of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka were released today after serving their sentences.
Human rights advocates say some 80 prisoners were released early today from detention centers in Minsk after spending up to 10 days in jail.
Belarusian authorities say more than 500 people were detained for taking part in protest demonstrations following the disputed March 19 presidential election.
The opposition, backed by Western governments and observers, say the vote was a fraud, which Belarusian authorities deny.
Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik of Austria, which currently holds the EU rotating Presidency, today reiterated calls for the immediate release of all detainees.