UARU
Major Protests in Belarus: Actvists and Journalists Detained
25 March, 2017

Belorussians celebrate ‘Freedom Day’ on March, 23d - this day in 1918 the independence of Belarusian People’s Republic was proclaimed in Minsk. This year ‘Freedom Day’ coincides with protests  which have lasted for the past month in Belarus. People are outraged about taxes against the "social parasites".

The authorities in Minsk prohibited  the rally in the capital, specifically near the Academy of Science and Kyivskiy Park. People didn’t accept Bangalor Square in Minsk as the place for celebrations. 

However demonstrations have been banned near the Academy of Science, even in spite of this the activists started to gather. Both civilians and journalists have been detained by police. Hromadske is following the events.

4:18 pm, Kyiv time: Meanwhile people are still being taken to police stations. According to preliminary data, hundreds of people have been apprehended, among them are journalists, human rights activists, and just passers-by.

2:58 pm, Kyiv time: OMON special task forces arrest even those people who don't participate in the demonstration. 

2:46 pm, Kyiv time: Members of human rights group ‘Viasna’, who have been earlier captured by the police, are set free. They were kept in a gym. 30 people are still detained. 

1:55pm, Kyiv time: The police used a variety of methods to disperse the protesters. There were water cannons, prisoner transport vehicles, armoured vehicles and other military equipment.

1.46 pm, Kyiv time: Police bearing arms can be seen from the screenshots of Belsat live broadcast.

 

1:42 pm, Kyiv time: Law enforcement shut off Independence Prospect in Minsk on various sides. OMON special task forces equipped with shields stayed in line to block protester’s movement.

1 pm, Kyiv time: According to the human right activists group ‘Viasna’, 57 people have been detained in Minsk. At the moment the area is surrounded by police and those who are coming are immediately herded into the prisoner transport vehicles.

Everyone has been arrested by the police, even foreign journalists,” - Radio Liberty wrote.

“There is no free space in the prison truck,” said a journalist Kristina Berdynskykh on Twitter.

At 12.03 noon Kyiv time, human right activists group called ‘Viasna’ informed on Twitter that Special Police Forces broke into its office and according to journalist Serhiy Sys ‘everybody was floored’.

Belarusian opposition leader and former presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu has been detained ahead of a planned anti-government rally on March 25, wrote Radio Liberty.

A few days before March, 25th, several activists and opposition politicians had been detained in different cities around Belarus. A Belarusian human rights group says that about 130 activists have been jailed for up to 15 days, wrote Radio Liberty