BRUSSELS --- The EU has bought 15 surveillance drones for Belarusian authorities, prompting alarm they could be used against pro-democracy protesters.
Lithuanian police handed over the equipment to the Belarusian State Committee for Forensic Science on 16 September - in the middle of a brutal police crackdown, which has seen thousands of people snatched off the streets, beaten, and tortured.
And the EU foreign service paid for them out of an €850,000 neighbourhood project being handled by Latvia and Lithuania.
The security cooperation appeared to go against the EU's vocal support for the pro-democracy movement.
And opposition activists feared the drones could be used against them, for instance, to identify individual protesters, leading to arrests. (end of excerpt)
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