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Belarusian Activists On Trial For Protesting Presence Of Russian Troops

Police break up the demonstration protesting Russian troops' presence.
MINSK -- Over a dozen activists are facing trial at the Minsk Central District Court for participating in a protest against Russian troops' presence in Belarus, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The activists protested in Minsk on September 9, the same day that Russian troops started arriving in Belarus to take part in joint Belarusian-Russian military maneuvers called West 2009.

The exercises will be held later this month to train the joint armed forces to provide security for the so-called Russian-Belarus Union State.

The detainees informed their relatives on September 10 that they were held in a police station till 2:00 am, and then transferred to a detention center. The detainees said that they have been charged with hooliganism.