Russian human rights activist to be deported from Belarus

Russian human rights activist Andrei Yurov has been detained in Belarus and will be deported from the country, his colleague Vladimir Lobkovich told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

"Yurov was detained on Wednesday in Minsk," Lobkovich said.

According to Lobkovich, Yurov heads an international mission monitoring the situation with human rights in Belarus.

The New York based non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch called on Monday for the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution condemning recent human rights abuses in Belarus.

Hundreds of people were detained during large-scale protests that broke out in Minsk in December following presidential elections, which saw Belarusian long-standing leader Alexander Lukashenko win a landslide victory with almost 80 percent of the vote.

At least 725 people were sentenced to between 10 and 15 days in prison following the crackdown, according to a report issued by Human Rights Watch. The report details raids on human rights organizations, denial of access to defense council and government pressure on lawyers representing those detained.

The Belarusian authorities are still investigating more than 46 individuals on riot charges related to the December protest, including seven former presidential candidates. Four have already been convicted and sentenced to up to four years in prison. Two Russians have been released but requested to pay hefty fines.

MINSK, March 17 (RIA Novosti)


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