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Swiss Journalist Detained By Police In Minsk Is Released After Questioning

Swiss journalist Luzia Tschirky (file photo)
Swiss journalist Luzia Tschirky (file photo)

The Vyasna human rights center in Belarus says police in Minsk have released a Swiss journalist from custody who was detained earlier on January 31 in the Belarusian capital.

The rights group said it received information from the Swiss Embassy in Minsk at about 5 p.m. local time that journalist Luzia Tschirky had been released from a police station.

Tschirky is a correspondent for the Swiss public broadcaster SRF who covers Russia, Belarus, and other former Soviet republics.

In a Twitter statement, SRF News quoted Tschirky as saying: “Masked men dragged me into a minibus” in central Minsk on the afternoon of January 31, taking her to a police station in the Belarusian capital where she was questioned.

Vyasna says authorities are still holding 28 people who were detained at anti-government protests.

Since August 9, Belarus has seen almost daily protests against the country's official presidential election tally.

Election officials declared Alyaksandr Lukashenka as the winner in a landslide with about 80 percent of the vote.

But opposition leaders and demonstrators say the results were rigged in favor of Lukashenka -- who has been in office since 1994.

With additional reporting by Interfax and TASS
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