Europe

4 detained in Belarus for trying to hold anti-govt protest

  • Belarusian police officers detain opposition activist, Pavel Severinets, center, prior to a protest in Minsk, Belarus, Friday, March 31, 2017. Four people have been detained in Minsk during an attempt to protest against political repression. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

    Belarusian police officers detain opposition activist, Pavel Severinets, center, prior to a protest in Minsk, Belarus, Friday, March 31, 2017. Four people have been detained in Minsk during an attempt to protest against political repression. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police officers detain opposition activist, Nina Baginskaya, center,  prior to a protest in Minsk, Belarus, Friday, March 31, 2017. Four people have been detained in Minsk during an attempt to protest against political repression. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

    Police officers detain opposition activist, Nina Baginskaya, center, prior to a protest in Minsk, Belarus, Friday, March 31, 2017. Four people have been detained in Minsk during an attempt to protest against political repression. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Belarus plain clothed police officer detains an opposition activist prior to a protest in Minsk, Belarus, Friday, March 31, 2017. Four people have been detained in Minsk during an attempt to protest against political repression. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

    A Belarus plain clothed police officer detains an opposition activist prior to a protest in Minsk, Belarus, Friday, March 31, 2017. Four people have been detained in Minsk during an attempt to protest against political repression. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)  (The Associated Press)

Four Belarusian opposition activists have been detained after they attempted to hold a protest rally in Minsk, the capital.

Hundreds of people were arrested over the weekend after unsanctioned protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk. The protests followed sporadic demonstrations across the country over the past two months, an unusually persistent show of defiance in the former Soviet republic.

Four activists holding pictures of jailed politicians came Friday to the KGB headquarters in Minsk and were rounded up by police several minutes later.

Before he was detained, Christian Democrats leader Pavel Severinets said "Fear and repression cannot stop the wave of protests against this rotten Soviet regime."

Nearly 30 opposition activists are being held in the KGB headquarters on suspicion of plotting an armed uprising.