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Journalists Detained While Covering Minsk Rally

Plainclothes police detain journalists covering a protest action in Minsk on September 18.
MINSK -- A number of Belarusian and international journalists were arrested and held in custody for several hours in Minsk on September 18.

Plainclothes officials detained journalists from Reuters, the Associated Press, Germany's ZDF television, the opposition channel Belsat TV, and the local news agency BelaPAN while covering a public action by the opposition movement Tell The Truth that was calling for a boycott of parliamentary elections scheduled for September 23.

All of the journalists were later released.

Several of them said they were beaten.

The Central Election Commission announced that Belarusian citizens could start early voting on September 18, although it remains unclear who is eligible for early voting.

Little is expected from the polls to the rubber-stamp parliament in Belarus, led by authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

With reporting by AFP reporting