ST. PETERSBURG -- Four members of Russia's anarchist movement attempted to hand a petition to the Belarusian consul-general in St. Petersburg demanding the release of anarchists being held in Minsk, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.
The activists entered the Belarusian Consulate in St. Petersburg but were told that due to the consul-general's absence the petition could not be accepted.
The activists said they would remain in the consulate until the consul-general arrived. But police forced the activists out of the consulate and took them to a police station.
One of the detained activists, who gave his name as Filipp, told RFE/RL by phone that he and his colleagues wanted to express solidarity with jailed Belarusian anarchists who were arrested after a Molotov-cocktail attack on the Russian Embassy in Minsk in August.
He said the world should know that there are people in Russia who care about "current human rights violations, lawlessness, and the oppression of social minorities in Belarus."
The activists say Belarusian authorities should release all four of the anarchists in Minsk.
Filipp added that Russian police have not charged him and his three co-activists with any crime and no official explanation was given for their detention.