Alexander Lukashenko, the authoritarian president of Belarus, is to be banned from travelling to the EU and US after riot police in Minsk arrested hundreds of opposition activists protesting against the results of last weekend’s elections.
Meanwhile on Newsday:
“We are concerned that false police statements may have tainted hundreds of cases of people arrested at the two largest mass arrests during the convention,” NYCLU attorney Christopher Dunn wrote to New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.
City law officials have said the arrests were justified.
The accusations stem from the tense standoff in 2004 between the nation’s largest police department and the tens of thousands of demonstrators at the GOP convention at Madison Square Garden, where President Bush accepted his party’s nomination for a second term in office. While anti-war and other demonstrations were mostly peaceful, sporadic clashes between police and protesters resulted in more than 1,800 arrests, mostly on misdemeanor charges like obstructing governmental administration.