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Thu 23 Dec 2010 12:28 PM

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Belarus jails more than 600 opposition activists

Belarus opens criminal probes against 18 leading opposition figures

Belarus jails more than 600 opposition activists
People queue to bring packages to their relatives in front of a prison in Minsk on December 22, 2010 Belarus has opened criminal probes against 18 leading opposition figures over involvement in post-election riots that could see them jailed for up to 15 years, a rights group said (AFP/Getty Images)
Belarus jails more than 600 opposition activists
Belarus opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich shouts during a demonstration near a prison in Minsk on December 21, 2010. Belarus jailed 600 demonstrators detained during a mass rally against the re-election of president Alexander Lukashenko, defying fierce Western condemnation of the bloody crackdown (AFP/Getty Images)
Belarus jails more than 600 opposition activists
Relatives of demonstrators detained during a mass rally against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko write to sent parcels of food and cigarettes to prisoners on December 21, 2010 outside a prison in Minsk. Police officials said the protesters would be held for up to 15 days while prosecutors probed their potential involvement in 'organising mass disturbances' -- a crime that carries a sentence of up to 15 years. Lukashenko received 79.6 percent of the vote in the December 19 polls on the back of a massive turnout of over 90 percent. (AFP/Getty Images)
Belarus jails more than 600 opposition activists
A relative wipes her eye on December 21, 2010 outside a prison in Minsk, where protesters arrested on December 19 are held. Belarussian authorities detained late on December 19 hundreds of protestors, including seven opposition candidates, after smashing a mass rally protesting fraud in authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko's re-election. Lukashenko received 79.6 percent of the vote in the December 19 polls on the back of a massive turnout of over 90 percent. (AFP/Getty Images)
Belarus jails more than 600 opposition activists
Relatives of demonstrators detained during a mass rally against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko checks the list of prisoners on December 21, 2010 outside a prison in Minsk. Police officials said the protesters would be held for up to 15 days while prosecutors probed their potential involvement in 'organising mass disturbances' -- a crime that carries a sentence of up to 15 years. Lukashenko received 79.6 percent of the vote in the December 19 polls on the back of a massive turnout of over 90 percent. (AFP/Getty Images)
Belarus jails more than 600 opposition activists
People hold candles near a prison in Minsk on December 21, 2010. Belarus on December 21, 2010 jailed 600 demonstrators detained during a mass rally against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, defying fierce Western condemnation of the bloody crackdown. (AFP/Getty Images)
Belarus jails more than 600 opposition activists
Belarus opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich lights a candle at a prison's wall in Minsk during a demonstration on December 21, 2010. Belarus jailed today 600 demonstrators detained during a mass rally against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, defying fierce Western condemnation of the bloody crackdown. (AFP/Getty Images)
Belarus jails more than 600 opposition activists
Belarus opposition supporters light candles near a picture of jailed opposition presidential candidate Andrey Sannikov at a prison's wall in Minsk during a demonstration on December 21, 2010. Belarus jailed today 600 demonstrators detained during a mass rally against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, defying fierce Western condemnation of the bloody crackdown. (AFP/Getty Images)
Belarus jails more than 600 opposition activists
People queue to bring packages to their relatives in front of a prison in Minsk on December 22, 2010. Belarus has opened criminal probes against 18 leading opposition figures over involvement in post-election riots that could see them jailed for up to 15 years, a rights group said today. The figures named in the probes include a vast swathe of the country's opposition and liberal media elite who now face the prospect of several years behind bars. (AFP/Getty Images)
Belarus jails more than 600 opposition activists
A policeman speaks with people queuing to bring packages to their relatives in front of a prison in Minsk on December 22, 2010. Belarus has opened criminal probes against 18 leading opposition figures over involvement in post-election riots that could see them jailed for up to 15 years, a rights group said today. The figures named in the probes include a vast swathe of the country's opposition and liberal media elite who now face the prospect of several years behind bars. (AFP/Getty Images)