MINSK, BELARUS – A Belarusian human rights group says police detained dozens of demonstrators in the capital and the city of Borisov on Wednesday as protests against the exclusion of two opposition candidates from the presidential ballot roiled the country.
In Minsk, thousands of people stood in a 3-kilometer-long (2-mile-long) line outside the national elections commission to sign complaints about the removal of Viktor Babariko and Valery Tsepalko from the ballot for the Aug. 9 election.
The two candidates were seen as the strongest challengers to authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, who is seeking a sixth term. Police closed off the center of Minsk, and the human rights group Vesna said at least 20 people were arrested. Another 15 demonstrators were detained in the city of Borisov, the group said.