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Dozens detained at protest rally in Minsk - Belarusian rights activists

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Police detained dozens of people at a protest rally in the Belarusian capital Minsk on Wednesday, the Belarusian human rights center Vesna reported.

Police detained dozens of people at a protest rally in the Belarusian capital Minsk on Wednesday, the Belarusian human rights center Vesna reported.

The detainees face fines or short jail terms.

Belarus has seen unprecedented economic and political turmoil in recent months, as increasingly frequent protests against the 17-year reign of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko have combined with a 36% devaluation of the national currency.

Plainclothes police officers have been cracking down on protesters and journalists, arresting hundreds of people during recent demonstrations.

Belarusian Prosecutor General Grigory Vasilevich on Wednesday called on the country's police to respect the rights of journalists amid ongoing protests.

The Belarusian Association of Journalists said more than 80 journalists who covered recent rallies have been detained in the country over the last weeks. Many of them had their equipment broken by police officers.

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