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Rights group: More than 1,000 arrested in Belarus protests

Associated Press logo Associated Press 27/03/2017
An activist, detained at a rally, is escorted by police officer upon his arrival for a court hearing in Minsk, Belarus, on Monday, March 27, 2017. About 400 people were arrested on Saturday in an unsanctioned protest against the authoritarian government of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has stifled dissent and independent media during his 23 years in power. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) © The Associated Press An activist, detained at a rally, is escorted by police officer upon his arrival for a court hearing in Minsk, Belarus, on Monday, March 27, 2017. About 400 people were arrested on Saturday in an unsanctioned protest against the authoritarian government of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has stifled dissent and independent media during his 23 years in power. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

MINSK, Belarus — A Belarusian human rights group says more than 1,000 people have been arrested for weekend protests in the former Soviet Republic and that about 150 of them have been sentenced to jail terms of up to 25 days.

Opponents of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko held unsanctioned demonstrations Saturday in Minsk, the capital, and other Belarusian cities, at which arrests were widespread. Other arrests took place in Minsk on Sunday when demonstrators demanded to know the detainees' whereabouts.

Authorities have made no comment on the arrests.

Vladimir Lobkovich of the Vesna human rights group on Monday called the sentencings a "judicial conveyor."

The weekend demonstrations were part of an unusually persistent wave of anti-government protests in the former Soviet republic.

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