MINSK -- Belarussian police detained a group of opposition activists for staging an unlawful protest Monday and briefly held two journalists, including a Reuters photographer, who were covering the event.
Police made the detentions outside a courthouse in the town of Baranovichi, about two hours' drive from Minsk, detained Reuters photographer Vasily Fedosenko said by cell phone from the local police station. The activists were protesting the prosecution of a member of the unregistered group Youth Front, who went on trial in Baranovichi on charges of belonging to a banned group.
Fedosenko said police detained him and Viktor Drachyov, a photographer for Agence France Presse, and about 20 protesters. The two photographers were released within hours. Protesters were taken to court to face charges of staging an illegal public gathering, usually punishable by a fine or up to 15 days in jail.