Protests in Belarus: tens of thousands marched in solidarity with political prisoners
A March of Solidarity with Political Prisoners was held in Belarus. Thousands of protesters gathered in the center of Minsk near the Minsk - Hero City obelisk, as well as in central squares in other cities across the country. Writes about it with the BBC.
At least 100 protesters gathered in Minsk alone.
Demonstrations in Minsk and most other cities have ended. As a rule, after the end of the post-election demonstrations in Minsk, arrests of people began, but motorists prevented this by blocking the avenue along which the protesters were walking.
Nevertheless, 4 people were detained throughout Belarus on Sunday, October 170, according to human rights activists. Severe detentions took place in the Mikhalovo district of Minsk, in Grodno and other cities.
The police used force. In Grodno, a 13-year-old girl was detained with her father, who said that the security forces sprayed gas in her face. The district police department later said that the gas hit the child in the face by accident, and it was used against her father. The police department added that the girl “began to pour a bottle of cola over the organ officer,” and her father was intoxicated and “behaved inappropriately”.
Standing on Akrestsin Street
A part of the column of protesters reached the pre-trial detention center on Akrestsin Street on Sunday evening. Earlier in the opposition telegram channels there was a plan of the march, the end point of which was the isolation ward.
Shortly after the protesters reached the detention center, several arrests took place. The exact number of those arrested was not reported.
Denis Kuznetsov, a participant of the rallies held in the Akrestsin prison, died in hospital from numerous injuries. He received fractures of the skull bones, extensive hematomas, open head injury, rib fractures, fracture of the right ilium and other injuries. Until the last moment, he was in intensive care unconscious.
The detainees held in the pre-trial detention center on Akrestsin Street, like in other detention centers in Minsk, reported torture and severe beatings.
“We came to the torture center in Akrestsin Street to release the illegally detained. We demand the release of those arrested now, ”the activists said.
Some time later, the demonstrators moved away from the isolation cell and joined the main column.
At the same time, the Belarusian telegram channels reported that the police were holding “educational conversations” with people.
“In Gomel, two lieutenant colonels and a major approach the resting people in the park, and they talk about how the protest is blown away, convincing that the protesters are a minority. A conversation with one of the companies has been going on for 10 minutes already, ”the TYT.by portal reports.
Pressure on journalists
There are reports of persecution of journalists from several Belarusian cities at once.
In Gomel, the head of the video department of the Strong News portal, Nadezhda Puzhinskaya, was detained. The editor-in-chief of the portal, Anna Yakshtas, and her husband, correspondent Denis Yakshtas, were also recently detained.
A number of journalists from local and foreign media are still in detention facilities in Belarus. In Minsk, riot policemen wearing balaclavas came to the home of Daria Sapranetskaya, a photographer of the Belgazeta portal. They did not name the reason for the visit, the journalist did not open the door.
On Sunday, August 4, Sapranetskaya was detained while working at a protest action together with the journalist of the Online portal Aleksandr Vladyko. They were later released.
Oleg Polishchuk, a photojournalist of the Brest newspaper, was detained in Brest on Sunday. In Grodno, journalists of the TUT.BY website Katerina Gordeeva and Olga Komyagina were detained. They were kept in the ROVD for three hours, after which they were released. Gordeeva said that she, too, "had a conversation."
In the evening, the Belarusian Association of Journalists reported that 4 journalists were detained in the country on October 16. Some of them were released after the conversation, some are awaiting trial.
The situation in Minsk
Military equipment was pulled into the center of Minsk on the eve of the demonstrations. Eyewitnesses report that water cannons are being used against peaceful demonstrators.
According to unconfirmed reports, in Minsk, protesters managed to remove a canister with a coloring liquid from one of the water cannons (presumably, it should glow in the dark), after which the car went out of order. In some areas of the city, severe detentions are taking place.
Mass arrests are also taking place in Bobruisk. The number of detainees throughout the country is currently in the tens.
Getting more detailed information from Belarus is complicated due to Internet restrictions. The Belarusian telecom operator A1 reported that the bandwidth of the mobile Internet in Minsk has been reduced at the request of government agencies.
Overcrowded prisons, thousands of fines
Another Sunday protest action in Belarus is dedicated to political prisoners.
According to the Belarusian human rights center Viasna, their number in the country has increased 25 times over the past two months due to those arrested during the actions against fraud in the last presidential elections.
Human rights activists also report that the total amount of fines imposed on detainees by hastily conducted courts has reached $ 240.
“Arrests and repressions continue to this day. Only this week, about a dozen people were arrested, among them titled basketball player Elena Levchenko, student of BSUIR Dmitry Mazura, political blogger Eduard Palchis. The authorities hold these people hostage. In the hope that it will be possible, as before, to trade in their freedom to negotiate with the EU countries, ”reads the announcement of the march.
Solidarity actions with the Belarusian people are also held all over the world.
As ForumDaily wrote earlier:
- In Belarus, on Sunday, August 9, the presidential elections were held, which were initially accompanied by mass protests of people who disagreed with the policies of the current president, Alexander Lukashenko, who has been ruling the country for 26 years. After the announcement of the results protests erupted with renewed vigor, many disagree and doubt their veracity.
- Thousands of people gathered to protest against falsification of elections in Belarus. They are beaten and dispersed by the security forces. One person died... Svetlana Tihanovskaya left the country.
- On August 12, the European Union and the United States announced that the presidential elections in Belarus on August 9, in which the incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko was declared the winner, were neither free nor fair... The EU and the US plan to impose new sanctions against Minsk.
- August 12 police officers opened fire to kill the protesters.
- 12 August women in different cities of the country formed living chains and sang lullabies near the monuments. TV presenters were fired from state channels, and military personnel and police officers threw uniforms and insignia into garbage cans.
- How detained protesters are bullied in Belarus, read in our material.
- For those affected by the protests already raised over two million dollars... At the same time, the money is collected through the personal Facebook of the campaign organizer, and there will be no detailed reporting on payments. But this is the only working scheme for Belarus - otherwise the fundraisers may be jailed.
- August 16, Minsk hosted the largest political protest in the history of Belarus - hundreds of thousands of people came out under white-red-white flags. The “Freedom March”, as the opposition called its action, took place immediately after the rally in support of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko.
- On August 19, a coordinating council of the opposition, created by supporters of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya for the transfer of power in the country, began work in Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko called the creation of the council an attempt to seize power and threatened with harsh measures.
- September 23 Lukashenko held a secret inauguration and took office as President of Belarus.
- Both the US and the EU refused to consider Alexander Lukashenko the legally elected president Belarus
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