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Belarus Opposition Stages 'European March'


http://gdb.rferl.org/80AEA955-D7C1-48E3-9F53-F5B3FB8853B0_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/80AEA955-D7C1-48E3-9F53-F5B3FB8853B0_mw800_mh600.jpg Belarusians with their EU and Belarusian flags in the "European" march in Minsk today (RFE/RL) MINSK, October 14, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Several thousand demonstrators staged a march in the Belarus capital Minsk today to press for closer links with European Union countries, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reported.


Opposition leader Alyaksandr Milinkevich told the crowd that Belarusians want to live by the laws of Europe, "not by the laws of dictatorship."


He added: "Belarus will be in Europe. We'll build a country that we won't be ashamed of. A free, fair, and real one," RFE/RL's Belarus Service reported.


Several other opposition leaders participated in the march, which took place without incident.


Marchers carried hundreds of blue EU flags along with the white-red-white striped flag that was the first Belarusian flag after the breakup of the Soviet Union and is championed by the opposition as the flag of a democratic Belarus.


Reuters quotes oppposition activist Yulia Kotskaya as saying police had detained more than 30 opposition supporters in the run-up to the demonstration. Others reported being unable to leave their homes as police blocked the entrances.


(RFE/RL's Belarus Service/AP/Reuters)

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