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Protester killed, dozens arrested in Belarus unrest: rights group

The Viasna Human Rights Centre said the young male protester suffered a traumatic head injury when he was hit by a police vehicle and medics were unable to save him.

Riot police detain a group of demonstrators during a protest after polls closed in Belarus' presidential election, in Minsk on August 9, 2020.

MINSK – A protester was killed, and dozens wounded when police in Belarus used stun grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse demonstrators disputing election results, a prominent rights group said on Monday.

The Viasna Human Rights Centre said the young male protester suffered a traumatic head injury when he was hit by a police vehicle and medics were unable to save him.

Viasna representative Sergey Sys told AFP that more than 300 people had been arrested on Sunday, including more than 150 in the capital Minsk.

"Dozens of people were wounded as a result of clashes with law enforcement agencies. Ten of them were taken to hospitals," he said.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Olga Chemodanova denied there had been any deaths.

"We have no dead," she told AFP.
At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday congratulated his counterpart in Belarus on his re-election after a disputed vote that led to a police crackdown on protesters.

The Kremlin said Putin had sent Alexander Lukashenko a congratulatory telegram expressing hope for "the further development of mutually beneficial Russian-Belarusian relations in all areas".

Meanwhile, Poland on Monday called for an emergency European Union summit on the situation in Belarus after clashes in the night in Minsk following a disputed presidential election.

"The authorities have used force against their citizens, who are demanding change in the country. We must support the Belarusian people in their quest for freedom," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a statement.

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