Belarusian special police have re-detained peaceful protesters. Despite the ban, they took to the streets to protest the arbitrariness of the president.
Belarusian special police OMON broke out protests against controversial head of state Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk and arrested dozens of people. Many journalists were also temporarily detained.
Police threatened violence against Protestants
Security forces with black face masks surrounded Independence Square on Thursday evening, a reporter from the German news agency reported on the spot. Hundreds of people had gathered there peacefully despite a ban on demonstrations. They shouted “Freedom!” and “Uchodi!” (“Get lost!”). The human rights organization Wesna in Minsk spoke of about 150 arrests that evening.
Men in particular were taken into custody and driven in prison wagons. The OMON had been transported by hundreds in large green passenger carriers without registration. Loudspeaker announcements warned of the unauthorized demonstration – and there were open threats of violence for participating in the demonstration. The protests are against Lukashenko, who has been leading the country with a heavy hand for 26 years.
The anger of the citizen is palpable
While the men were being led away, the women were released from the cauldron and marched across the street shouting “kaschdy den, kaschdy den!” – in German: “Every day, every day”. The anger of the people in Minsk was palpable after people were detained by OMON troops for 40 minutes the night before in the Catholic Church in Independence Square.
In protest against the arbitrariness, the democracy movement in Belarus called on the faithful of all religious communities to protest against the police state on Thursday. Hundreds of people have answered the call. They said loud prayers for peace when the security forces intervened. Since the controversial presidential elections on August 9, there have been protests and strikes in state-owned companies against Lukashenko, whom his opponents refer to as “Europe’s last dictator”.