Belarus police detain hundreds of protesters in Minsk as crowds swell
It is reported that among the detainees are famous athletes
According to a number of reports, hundreds of people were detained in Minsk during new anti-government protests.
After the special services dispersed the people gathered in the center of the capital, the demonstrators dispersed throughout the city. Groups of protesters staged small demonstrations holding red and white flags.
In the videos posted, black-clad intelligence officers with truncheons chase demonstrators and take them away in cars. In one of the shopping centers, law enforcement agencies locked the doors and began to selectively search shoppers for opposition banners and other materials. The special services stopped and searched the cars. Reuters cannot confirm the authenticity of these footage based on independent sources..
The human rights center Viasna, which is not registered in Belarus, reported that about 360 people were detained in total.
The Belarusian Foundation for Sports Solidarity reported that among the detainees were the Olympic silver medalist in decathlon Andrei Kravchenko and the national kickboxing champion Ivan Ganin. Both have previously signed an open letter from a thousand representatives of the sports community in Belarus calling for new elections.
Belarus is going through a political crisis, during which tens of thousands of people weekly go to protest actions calling for Lukashenka’s resignation. Thousands of people were arrested. Human rights organizations claim hundreds of detainees have been beaten and otherwise ill-treated.
According to the Viasna center, 60 doctors and other health workers were detained on Saturday.
Belarus told the UN last week that it is not investigating any allegations of police abuse, despite criticism of the brutal repression of anti-government demonstrators by the West..
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