The number of opposition protest rallies participants detained by the law enforcement in Minsk and other Belarusian cities on Sunday surpassed 400. This information was provided on the website of the Belarusian unregistered Vesna human rights center.
The center has published a list which included the names of some 425 detainees, and it keeps being updated. It is reported that architect Nikita Domrachev, brother of Belarusian biathlete and a four-time Olympic champion Darya Domracheva, is among the detainees, TASS reports.
On Sunday, 43 journalists and photographers who were covering the protest rallies were also detained, most of them were later released.
The protest rallies were held in Brest, Bobruisk, Vitebsk, Gomel, Grodno, Zhlobin, Mogilev, and Molodechno. In Minsk the opposition tried to hold the March of Pride but the security forces prevented the full scale of it.
Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.