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Police Disperse Protest By Belarusian Convicts' Mothers

Officials disperse prisoners' mothers who were staging a protest on Minsk's Liberty Square.
MINSK -- Police in Minsk have dispersed some 20 prisoners' mothers who attempted to stage a protest on the city's Liberty Square, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

On October 3, the protesters unfolded placards saying: "Fraudsters [Should Be Brought] to Justice!" "The Presidential Office Is the Defender of Lawlessness in Belarus!" and "Officials Are Guilty!"

An RFE/RL correspondent reported that police detained six protesters.

Protest leader Tamara Syarhey told journalists that the women are convinced their sons were sent to jail "unlawfully," and their cases should be reviewed.

Syarhey said they had no other way to make their protest known, as Supreme Court Chairman Valyantsin Sukala keeps refusing to meet with them.

On September 5, Syarhey said, Sukala refused to meet with them, even though presidential chief of staff Uladzimer Makey promised on December 10 that a special commission would be established to investigate all instances when court officials avoid meeting with the mothers of convicts who think they were sentenced by mistake.

Syarhey added that the women plan to gather on the square every day for a month.

Read more in Belarusian here