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Belarus Leader Says Wouldn't Hesitate To Use Army To Halt Unrest

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (file photo)
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has told his country's military leadership that if protests in December against his reelection had gotten out of control he "would not have hesitated" to call out the army against protesters.

Riot police detained several hundred protesters on December 19 and several opposition candidates who ran against Lukashenka.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today criticized Belarus for harassment of the opposition and charges being filed against scores of those protesters and former presidential candidates.

Pillay said the "continued detention of political opponents, harassment of civil society, and intimidation of the independent media are serious human rights violations."

compiled from agency reports