22 Dec 2010

Prison sentences for post-election demonstrators

4:15 pm on 22 December 2010

Nearly 600 people have been given prison sentences in Belarus for taking part in protests against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday for a fourth consecutive term.

Special fast-track courts jailed most of the demonstrators for between five and 15 days.

But police say some may face much longer sentences if found guilty of organising the protests.

Several opposition leaders are still in custody.

Mr Lukashenko has been in power since 1994 but observers say the vote count in the latest election was flawed.