More Than 200 Detained In Belarus Protests – Rights Group


MOSCOW: Belarusian police arrested more than 200 people in Minsk on Sunday in the last in months of anti-government protests since a contested presidential election in August, human rights activists said.

Thousands of people took to the streets of the Belarusian capital and police used stun grenades to disperse the crowds, several Belarusian media reported.

Rights group Vesna-96 said 205 people have been detained so far.

The Interior Ministry subsequently confirmed that there had been detentions, claiming that they had “disturbed public order and resisted the police”, but gave no figure.

Opponents of President Alexander Lukashenko have staged regular protests since August, accusing him of rigging the elections to extend his 26-year grip on power. He denies electoral fraud and refused to resign.

This week, protest organizers called on people to gather in dozens of different locations across Minsk before forming larger groups, to make it harder for police to control the crowd.

Street rallies were re-launched after the death of 31-year-old anti-government protester Roman Bondarenko, who died in hospital earlier this month following what protesters described as a severe beating by police forces. security.

The Interior Ministry denied responsibility for Bondarenko’s death, claiming he was killed in a fight with civilians.

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