Thousands of people took to the streets in Belarus for the sixteenth week in a row on Sunday during new demonstrations against President Alexander Lukashenko. Security forces intervened sharply, as can be seen on images from local media. At least 280 people have been arrested, according to the Wesna Human Rights Center, the police keep it at about 250.
Last Sunday, three hundred people were arrested, the week before around a thousand.
The largest actions took place in the capital Minsk. There, protesters first gathered in residential areas and then formed protest marches. Many carried white-red-white flags.
Videos of security forces followed protesters to the courtyards of residential complexes on the Internet. Again and again people were towed in minibuses. The media also reported the use of tear gas and anesthetic grenades.
Security forces mobilized en masse
As on previous Sundays, hundreds of security forces were on the move. Large squares were lined with metal bars and access to six metro stations was blocked.
Mobile internet was also largely turned off. In some neighborhoods there would even have been no electricity.
Belarus has been in the throes of massive protests since the beginning of August. Lukashenko, who has authoritatively governed the former Soviet Republic for 26 years, claims he won the August presidential election with 80 percent of the vote. Almost everyone is convinced that this result is the result of electoral fraud.