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600 people charged over Belarus election protests - prosecutor

MINSK, April 5 (RIA Novosti) - Belarus' chief prosecutor said Wednesday that about 600 people have been charged over mass demonstrations following the country's recent presidential elections.

Pyotr Miklashevich said prosecutors had filed 33 administrative and six criminal cases and issued 32 official warnings in the wake of unsanctioned rallies protesting the results of March 19 elections.

The elections ended with a landslide victory and third term in office for Alexander Lukashenko, dubbed "Europe's last dictator" by Washington. The results sparked protests in the capital, Minsk, which were broken up by force.

Belarusian opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich outlined Wednesday his objectives in continuing efforts against Lukashenko's regime, saying efforts would be based on information warfare and peaceful protests.

"Today our efforts have three fundamental objectives: free elections, freedom of speech, and free education," Milinkevich said in a statement.

"We are switching from the wonderful romantic sentiments of a brave minority to everyday educational and information efforts involving tens of thousands of freedom volunteers," he said, adding that political parties and non-governmental organizations would be the core of the opposition movement.

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