More than 500 people were detained at an opposition rally in Minsk. Among them are journalists, athletes and “Miss Belarus-2008”
More than 500 people were detained on November 8 at regular opposition protests in Minsk and other cities of Belarus. This was reported by the human rights center Viasna.
Basically, the arrests were carried out during the dispersal of the “March of People’s Power” planned in the capital. It is also known about isolated cases of detention in Gomel, Vitebsk, Zhlobin, Bobruisk and Lyakhovichi.
Among those detained in Minsk are journalists from various media, actor Alexander Zhdanovich, famous athletes athlete Andrei Kravchenko and kickboxer Ivan Ganin, as well as the winner of the Miss Belarus-2008 contest Olga Khizhinkova.
Local media report that law enforcement agencies are carrying out harsh pinpoint detentions in Minsk – because of this, the demonstrators were virtually unable to gather for a mass protest march. Interfax estimated the number of people gathered in the city center at about seven thousand people.
During a protest action on November 8 on Melnikayte Street in Minsk, sounds similar to shots were heard. Thereafter, it was reported that at least one victim was hospitalized. The city also temporarily limited mobile communications and closed a number of metro stations.The news has been updated with fresh data from human rights defenders
Protest actions have been going on in Belarus since August 9, when it was announced about the next victory of Alexander Lukashenko in the presidential elections in the country. The opposition did not believe the results of the vote and demanded a recount, as well as the release of political prisoners. The most massive protests are held on Sundays.