21arrested for taking part in entrepreneurs' protest in Minsk

Courts in Minsk on Tuesday were busy issuing the guilty verdicts to those who joined the protest of entrepreneurs on January 21 in the Belarus capital. The small-size businessmen protested against the president's decree No 760 which bans them from employing other people than the close relatives. A lot of the youth and opposition members joined the action which was ruthlessly dispersed by the riot police.

21 people were convicted on January 22. Five of them -- Aliaksei Bondar, Viktar Kuklish, Arthur Pyatsko, Syarhey Shautsou and Andrei Prasnyak -- were sentenced to 5 - 15 days of administrative arrest. 15 people were fined with the amounts raning from Br525,000 to Br1,750,000 ($860).

According to Ales Byalyatski, a famous human rights activist, some demonstrators were beaten up after the rally.