Presidential candidates among hundreds arrested in Belarus protests

Hundred of people, including six presidential candidates, have been arrested in the former Soviet republic of Belarus for protesting the announced results of the country's presidential elections, the BBC reports.

Incumbent Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power for 16 years, was declared the winner in what the opposition says was a rigged election. Lukanshenko won a fourth-term in office with 79.8% of the vote according to the officail results.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe called the voting "flawed" and said it fell well short of democratic standards, the BBC reports.

The arrests came as security forces moved in as 10,000 protesters in central Minsk. At least one opposition figure, presidential candidate Vladimir Neklyaev, was arrested in the hospital where he had been taken after being severely beaten, the BBC says.

The U.S. embassy has condemned the beatings and the arrests of the candidates.

(Posted by Doug Stanglin)


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