Belarusian police detain 10 opposition activists

MINSK, Belarus (AP) - Belarusian authorities on Tuesday detained at least 10 demonstrators who picketed trials of opposition members, rights activists said.

About 60 opposition activists gathered near a court building in the town of Soligorsk, about 120 kilometers (about 75 miles) south of the capital, Minsk, to protest a trial of a 15-year-old opposition activist.

After they unfurled banners with slogans such as and police quickly dispersed the protesters and beat some of them, said Ales Byalyatski, head of Vyasna rights center. One female opposition activist suffered a broken arm, he said.

Opposition members held a similar protest in the town of Nesvizh where another activist faced a trial.

Byalyatsky said police detained about 10 opposition activists.

Authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko has ruled Belarus since 1994, quashing dissent, closing down opposition media and cracking down on private business. The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on him and on top members of his government.