During Saturday’s demonstration in Minsk, more than 50 people were detained – such data was posted on Sunday by the Wiasna Human Rights Center. Among the detained were participants in the march of students and journalists. On Sunday, Belarusians are continuing demonstrations in several cities, there have also been detentions, and the police admitted that they used rubber bullets in the capital.
The TUT.by portal reported that participants in the Saturday student march in Minsk began to be detained almost immediately after the demonstration began. On the list of detainees posted on the Wiasna Human Rights Center website, according to the knowledge from Sunday noon, there were 51 names.
Journalists in custody
Among the detained were three journalists working for the websites Onliner, TUT.by and BiełaPAN. TUT.by states that journalists were detained for document control, and after a few hours it turned out that administrative proceedings were initiated against them on the basis of articles concerning violation of the order of the organization or carrying out mass events and not complying with the orders of the militia. The portal informs that journalists are in custody on Akrescina Street.
On Saturday, there was also a women’s march. During this demonstration, no one was arrested, Wiasna claims.
“Several warning shots into the air with rubber bullets fired”
On Sunday, Belarusians again took to the streets in protest against the presidential election in August, the results of which they do not recognize. In the capital of the country, 30,000 people turned up for the opposition march, Interfax reported.
There are reinforced security measures in the city center. Journalists report that a water cannon has been erected near the president’s administration. 10 armored personnel carriers were deployed in front of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s residence, reports Interfax-Zapad, citing witnesses. The residence was surrounded by a double cordon of policemen and soldiers. More than 10 military men also lined up at the Minsk-Hero City obelisk.
Later in the afternoon, the police in Minsk reported that they had fired rubber bullets into the air because protesters were throwing stones at the officers. “Several warning shots in the air were fired with rubber bullets after the service vehicle and officers were thrown with stones from an aggressive crowd,” Minsk militia told Interfax-Zapad. According to the AFP, over 100 participants of the opposition demonstration have been detained.
Witnesses report that they heard sounds similar to explosions of stun grenades. However, the militia assured that they did not use such measures during the operation on Sunday.
Internet problems in Minsk
In Minsk on Sunday there are also problems with connectivity via mobile internet. TUT.by states that they started before 2 p.m., when the march is scheduled to start.
The MTS operator said that as part of the activities of the authorities “to ensure national security today in Minsk access to the Internet has been limited”. The A1 operator confirmed that on that day the capacity of the mobile internet was reduced in the Belarusian capital at the request of the state authorities. Portal TUT.by reminds that similar problems with access to the network occurred also during the previous Sunday protests in August and September.
Protests and arrests also in other cities
During the demonstration in Brest, about one hundred protesters chanted “Minsk, we are with you!” About 50 people came to the protest in Nowogródek. Five of its participants were detained.
Readers of TUT.by also inform about the arrest of eight people during the peaceful action in Svetłagorsk. According to the portal, among the detained is a human rights defender from the Wiasna center.
Protests in Belarus continue
Protests have been going on in Belarus for over two months after the presidential election on August 9, in which, according to official results, Alyaksandr Lukashenka won over 80 percent of the vote. votes. Participants in the protests do not recognize these results and are demanding a second election.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / STR