Updated at 15:40,13-12-2017

Interior minister denies "preventive" arrests of opposition activists

Naviny.by

Interior Minister Ihar Shunevich denied on Wednesday that the authorities used the practice of jailing opposition activists on trumped-up charges to keep them isolated during important events in Minsk.

More than 30 opposition activists ended up in a detention center in the Belarusian capital and jails in other cities ahead of the May 9-25 Ice Hockey World Championship.

Speaking to reporters in the House of Representatives, Mr. Shunevich said that all of the activists had committed civil offenses.

"There is no and may be no such term as 'preventive arrest.' The people who were arrested had committed offenses such as disorderly conduct and disobedience to police officers and so on. Such arrests have taken place and will continue," said the minister.