On Sunday, the traditional protests against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko were held in a seven cities in Belarusia.
The protests that organisers announced under the name "March of Freedom" confronted thousands with an armed police that used tear gas, rubber bullets and buttons. Opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaya praised the courage of the compatriots.
For almost five months, people have been demonstrating weekend after weekend in Belarus against the authoritarian ruler Alexander Lukashenko. It will stay that way until the victory, said Ms. Tichanovskaya from her exile in Lithuania. She is considered to be Mr. Lukashenko's most important opponent and praised the courage of the people in Minsk and other cities who took to the streets this Sunday.
Despite arrests and police violence, the rallies have become part of everyday life for many people, said the 38-year-old. The protesters ignored the ban and formed marches. Instead of a large rally, the people opted for many smaller, decentralized protests, including in several districts of the capital Minsk.
Again, uniformed men in balaclavas took violent action against peaceful opponents of Mr. Lukashenko. Police patrolled the streets in civilian vehicles to track down demonstrators. Once again, the cellular network was throttled and underground stations were cordoned off.
Three Belorussian Women Awarded with A Prestigious Prize
On Sunday, Ms. Tichanovskaya and her two female colleagues Ms. Veronika Tsepakalo and Marya Kolesnikova, who became a symbol of the fight against Mr. Lukashenko's regime during the elections, were announced laureates of the prestigious Martin Luther "Fearless Word" award.
The Fearless Word Prize is awarded once every two years to individuals who bravely defend their beliefs, despite the resistance and in difficult circumstances.