Police free all members of religious organization detained in Kyiv

All members of the religious organization Brotherhood, detained in Kyiv on Saturday for holding a rally in support of a military operation in Iraq, were released later on the same day.

Twenty-one organization members, among them three women, were taken into custody. All of them complained against what they called outrageous conduct by the police, Brotherhood spokesman Andrey Balog told Interfax on Sunday.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has told Interfax that the police detained several participants in an unauthorized rally in support of a war against Iraq. The demonstrators carried sticks that were painted red at one end.

They said they were members of the Orthodox Christian society Brotherhood, whose registration documents have been submitted to the Justice Ministry. The sticks symbolized candles, they said. They also said they wanted to express their support for U.S. plans to launch a military operation against Iraq and to say that "Hussein must be eliminated" during a peace march that was being held in Kyiv on the same day.