Czech journalist beaten in Minsk

A journalist who was covering presidential elections in Belarus for the Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes was beaten and robbed by unknown assailants in the center of Minsk , the daily said Tuesday. The daily said that Jan Rybar was beaten and robbed of his laptop and satellite phone late Sunday as he was leaving an opposition demonstration.

He suffered a mild concussion, broken nose and bruises, Mlada Fronta Dnes said. His wallet and regular mobile phone were not taken in the attack, the newspaper said. "I don't believe (the assailants) were regular robbers," Mlada Fronta Dnes quoted Rybar as saying.

"They yelled at me 'where are your documents?' and regular gangsters are not usually interested in documents but in money," he reportedly said. According to Czech charge d'affaires in Belarus , Vladimir Ruml, Rybar likely had been targeted by Belarusian secret police.

"I cannot imagine that someone would pick such a place for a robbery ... because police were concentrated in the center then," the daily quoted him as saying. At the time of the attack Sunday evening, some 10,000 opposition supporters had gathered in a Minsk square to protest elections that gave a new term to Belarus ' authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. Authorities said he had won 82.6 percent in Sunday's ballot, but Western governments and Europe 's main election-monitoring group criticized the election as seriously flawed, reports the AP.


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