MOSCOW, August 10 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council has urged the Foreign Ministry to voice its official protest against arrests of Russian journalists in Belarus and immediately start negotiations on their release, according to a statement published on the body’s website.

Earlier, news has broken that five journalists from Russia reporting on the Presidential elections in Belarus were arrested.

Rights activists also called the Foreign Ministry to instruct the Russian Embassy in that country to find out where the journalists are held; what is their conditions; ensure that their rights are respected.

The Council says the journalists have committed no crimes, but were carrying out their professional duty.

The arrest of Semen Pegov, Maxim Solopov, Yevgeny Oleinik, Anton Starkov, and Dmitry Lasenko has been reported by the Union of Journalists of Russia.