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Austria Protests Detention Of Two Journalists In Belarus

RF correspondent Carola Schneider and her camera operator were detained in Minsk on August 9. (file photo)

The Austrian Foreign Ministry has protested the detention of two journalists who were working in Belarus for Austria's national broadcaster ORF.

ORF correspondent Carola Schneider and her camera operator were detained on August 9 in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, and taken to a police station.

The pair were later released.

Austria's Foreign Ministry on August 10 called the police action “completely unacceptable.”

"We immediately lodged a protest,” the ministry said on Twitter. "Correspondents must be able to work unhindered and media freedom must always be ensured.”

The Minsk-based human rights center Vyasna (Spring) said that plainclothes police officers stopped the two journalists while they were interviewing a local resident.

Independent media outlets and journalists have faced a clampdown in Belarus since a presidential election a year ago awarded authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka a sixth term, triggering mass protests amid claims the vote was rigged.

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