Court in Belarus set to pass verdict on detained opposition activists

MINSK. Sept 5 (Interfax) - Nine opposition activists have been detained in Soligorsk, outside Minsk, for violating the rules of organizing and holding mass rallies, the Soligorsk district police department told Interfax on Wednesday.

"Police have detained nine demonstrators near the building of the local court for violating the rules of organizing mass rallies and pickets," the department said.

Among those detained are a student of the European Humanities University, a worker at a local child-care center, and several unemployed born in 1981 to 1986. Posters with opposition slogans were seized from them," a police official said.

A protocol of their arrest has been referred to the court.

The police department has also denied reports that "police beat up participants in the unauthorized rally."

"The court is to decide the fate of the nine detained demonstrators. In all, about 20 people participated in the rally," police officials said.

On September 4 the Soligorsk District Court found opposition activist Ivan Shilo guilty of involvement in the activities of an unregistered organization, the Young Front.