OSCE office closed down in Minsk

The authorities in Belarus have closed down the office of Europe's leading human rights body in Minsk.

It comes after the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe criticised the recent presidential election, which gave Alexander Lukashenko a fourth term in office.

Opening a home for the elderly in the village of Treskovshina near the Belarussian capital, Lukashenko told reporters he did not trust the West. He suggested the aim had been to delay the election.

The OSCE criticised what it said was a "lack of transparency" in vote counting and the mistreatment of opposition activists.

22 people have been charged with organising mass disorder on the night of the vote on December the 19th.

Five opposition presidential candidates are among those who have appeared in court.


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