The Vyasna human rights center in Belarus says police in Minsk have released a Swiss journalist from custody who was detained earlier on January 31 in the Belarusian capital. The rights group said it received information from the Swiss Embassy in Minsk at about 5 p.m.
local time that journalist Luzia Tschirky had been released from a police station. Tschirky is a correspondent for the Swiss public broadcaster SRF who covers Russia, Belarus, and other former Soviet republics. In a Twitter statement, SRF News quoted Tschirky as saying: “Masked men dragged me into a minibus” in central Minsk on the afternoon of January 31, taking her to a police station in the Belarusian capital where she was questioned.
Vyasna says authorities are still holding 28 people who were detained at anti-government protests. Since August 9, Belarus has seen almost daily protests against the country’s official presidential election tally. Election officials declared Alyaksandr Lukashenka as the winner in a landslide with about 80 percent of the vote. But opposition leaders and demonstrators say the results were rigged in favor of Lukashenka — who has been in office since 1994.