3 Belarus opposition leaders sentenced to 15 days

AP News
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Posted: Mar 11, 2017 9:00 AM

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — A Belarusian human rights group says three top figures from country's beleaguered political opposition have been sentenced to 15 days in jail following an unauthorized protest.

The Vesna group said Saturday that 10 other protesters were given sentences of three to five days.

All were detained Friday amid a demonstration of more than 1,000 people in the city of Maladzyechna. The gathering protested against Belarus' law that fines unemployed people $250 if they do not register with state labor exchanges, and called for the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko, the authoritarian leader in power since 1994.

The unemployment fine has been the focus of an unusual wave of protests in the tightly policed country over the last month. About 400 protesters gathered in the city of Pinsk on Saturday.