Belsat staffers held by Belarusian police

The detentions hang together with mass demonstrations in Belarus after last Sunday's presidential elections in the country. Anna Ivanova/PAP

Six employees of the Polish Belsat satellite TV channel aimed at Belarus are being held by Belarusian police, Belsat head Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy told PAP on Tuesday. She added that the whereabouts of one Belsat cameraman are unknown.

Romaszewska-Guzy said that one of the detained Belsat staff has been sentenced to a 10-day prison term in Vitebsk, and a Belsat journalist was severely beaten up in Grodno.

The Union of Poles in Belarus has informed PAP that a journalist working for Poland's TV Polonia channel was beaten up on Monday outside a police station in Grodno and is currently in hospital.

The detentions and beatings hang together with mass demonstrations in Belarus after last Sunday's presidential elections in the country, in which to-date President Alexander Lukashenko won a landslide victory. According to observers, the elections were marred by numerous irregularities.

Lukashenko said on Monday that the protests were being steered from Poland, Britain and the Czech Republic.

The Belsat channel is a subsidiary of Poland's TVP public TV broadcaster. It is funded by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.