Belarusian law enforcement agencies detained more than 1,000 people in protest rallies in Minsk and several other cities in the country, human rights center Vesna (not registered by the national authorities) reported Monday.
The center’s website published a list containing 1,003 people, with most of them detained in Minsk.
Members of the opposition protest dubbed March of Popular Power in Minsk on Sunday failed to form a single column. The rally turned into demonstrations of separate groups of around 1,000 people in total who gathered across the Belarusian capital. They were actively detained by police officers. The detentions continued in Minsk in the evening after the march ended, TASS reports.
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.