More than 400 Arrested During the Pro-Freedom March in Belorussia
Thousands demonstrated against the dictator Alexandr Lukashenko again in Belorussia. More than 400 people were arrested and police used tear gas.
In Belarussia, thousands of citizens protested peacefully against the ruler Alexander Lukashenko. This time opposition changed tactic asking the supporters to form in the marches of the neighbors in their local areas and then to form main column in the city an hour later. Many carried the historic white, red, and white flags.
According to a human rights organization Vyasna, more than 400 people across the country were arrested at the rallies on Sunday. The police also used tear gas and stun grenades against demonstrators, and some were beaten with batons, the representative of the organization Vyasna reported. The police reported almost 250 arrests in the capital Minsk alone.
Videos on the Internet showed numerous arrests. The Vyasna Human Rights Center first listed the names of 20 people arrested. The video footage has shown the participants of the march being dragged into minibuses by masked security forces. The riot police followed protesters into the courtyards of residential complexes. The media reported the use of tear gas.
As on the previous Sunday, hundreds of uniformed men from the Interior Ministry and the army were out and about in Minsk. Videos showed prisoner trucks, water cannons and other heavy equipment on the streets of the capital. Rescue workers cordoned off large spaces with metal bars.
Belorussian regime cuts Internet, electricity off to stop the demonstrations
In addition, the Minsk authorities closed six metro stations. The mobile internet was also switched off. The authorities wanted to make it more difficult for the people to meet. There were also reports that some neighborhoods had the electricity cut off. Belorussians in other cities also called for Mr. Lukashenko's resignation.
The protests of the democracy movement have lasted for more than three months. The movement also calls for an end to police violence against peaceful demonstrators, the release of all political prisoners and new elections.
Poorly educated Mr Lukashenko, a Soviet kolkhoz, a state-run agricultural farm director, who has been in office for 26 years, claimed victory in the August 9th presidential election with falsified vote. The opposition perceives Ms. Svetlana Tichanovskaya as the winner of the election.