MINSK, March 2 (RIA Novosti) - An opposition rally unexpectedly resumed in the Belarusian capital Minsk Thursday as a presidential candidate who was detained by police but later released joined the protesters.
Opposition leaders had been planning to cancel the rally, which attracted 1,500-3,000 people, but changed their minds when Alexander Kozulin, the leader of social-democratic party Gramada, arrived at the site.
Kozulin was about to undergo registration at the All-Belarusian Assembly, currently being held in Minsk, when police detained him inside the building and took him to a police station in the capital's Oktyabrsky District.
Minsk prosecutors have accused Kozulin of hooliganism.
First Deputy Prosecutor Nikolai Starovoitov said the candidate had pushed a policeman during registration and then damaged a picture of President Alexander Lukashenko at the police station.
The president called the incident a provocation.
Kozulin was later released but is facing a fine, one to two months of community service, or a five-day administrative arrest.