Nearly 100 people detained during anti-govt protests in Belarusian capital

ANI
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Representative Image

Minsk [Belarus], December 20 (ANI/Sputnik): Police have detained around 100 people attending unauthorized anti-government demonstrations in the Belarusian capital, the police department of the Minsk City Executive Committee said on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, Natallya Hanusevich, a spokeswoman for the Minsk police, confirmed to Sputnik that multiple people had been detained during the anti-government demonstrations, but did not specify numbers.

"Today, on December 20, scattered groups of citizens attempted to gather in different parts of the capital city, marking themselves with unregistered symbols and placards containing various calls. The participants of unauthorised events were repeatedly warned about the inadmissibility of unlawful actions, after which the most active individuals were detained -- around 100 citizens, who are currently being probed in line with the law," the police said in a press release on Telegram.

Demonstrations on weekends have become a signature feature of the post-electoral protests in Belarus. Sunday rallies are traditionally the largest, held in Minsk and other cities and normally resulting in multiple arrests. Details on time and place are normally being communicated to people via opposition-backed Telegram channels.

Mass protests began in Belarus after the presidential election on August 9, which, according to the official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, securing himself a sixth consecutive term in office. The opposition refused to recognise the results, claiming electoral fraud.

Over the past few weeks, the format of opposition protests in Minsk has changed -- instead of calling one massive rally across the city centre, protesters gather for smaller demonstrations scattered across the city's residential outskirts. Police and security forces with special equipment are normally being deployed to these spots beforehand. (ANI/Sputnik)