Procession of National Flag in Minsk (updated)

2015 2015-10-10T18:38:50+0300 2015-10-10T18:54:33+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Procession of National Flag, October 10, 2015. Photo by "Nasha Niva"

Procession of National Flag, October 10, 2015. Photo by "Nasha Niva"

A number of politicians and public figures have called on people to take part in the rally and procession on October 10 in central Minsk. People were told to come to Svabody Square at 5 p.m. and then proceed to Yakub Kolas Square under national white-red-white flags.

A former political prisoner and presidential candidate in 2010 Mikalai Statkevich invited all concerned people to come to Svabody Square and express their attitude to the elections of 2015, which he called "farce, at which everything is clear."

Earlier, opposition leaders issued a special appeal regarding the meeting, scheduled for October 10. They called on the people to come to the event with white-red-white flags and ribbons, creative posters and in embroidered clothes.

The monitoring of the the event is exercised by the specially trained observers, and its results will be published at our website. HRC “Viasna” reports from the scene. Please, watch at social networking websites and by the hash tags #ControlBY and #сход.

4.45 p.m. First demonstrators and journalists started gathering in Svabody Square. The co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Pavel Seviarynets stated that the rally would be held under the slogan "For Free and Fair Elections". Uladzimir Niakliayeu is talking with reporters.

4. 58 p.m. The police, including the head of the Main Police Department of the Minsk City Executive Committee are thoroughly checking the observers' badges, asking which organizations they represent.

5 p.m. Policemen in civil clothes can be noticed in the yards near Svabody Square. There are 3 buses s and many mini-buses, a Ford car with a crate and video cameras on its top. The first flags are unfurled on the square. The observers count about 350 people. The chairman of the United Civil Party Anatol Liabedzka and the former political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich come to the scene. The latter starts his speech.

5.10 p.m. There are two buses with riot police and an armored black car in the yards near the Georgian Embassy. The procession is moving towards the Palace of the Republic, heading for Yakub Kolas Square. Internacyjanaĺnaja Street has been blocked, the procession is going along Lienin Street.

5.20 p.m. There are many policemen in civilian clothes near the “Centraĺny” food store. The procession that consists of about 600 people turns to Niezaliežnasci Avenue.

5.30 p.m. The procession gets separated because of the traffic lights. Road policemen demand that the demonstrators wait for the green light to light. An observer was prohibited to take photos of a policeman. He was told to show his documents, but then was left alone.

The column of demonstrators is getting longer and very stretched, it is joined by passers-by. Drivers greet the action participants by beeping.

5.45 The column doesn't proceed by the underground crossing in Pieramohi Square, going by the road instead. The road police are trying to stop them, but the demonstrators don't pay attention to them. According to approximate calculations, the number of the participants of the processions starting from the bridge over the river of Svislač up to Pieramohi Square is 864 people.

6 p.m. On Yakub Kolas Square the procession is met by about 15 policemen dressed in civilian clothes, some of them are holding video cameras. More policemen in civvies are standing near Yakub Kolas monument. Demonstrators start filling the square.

6.15 p.m. Policemen in civvies are also keeping duty in the underground crossing under Yakub Kolas Square. All in all, there about 45-50 policemen. Uladzimir Niakliayeu proposes to finish the action with a prayer for Belarus. The people start to disperse. The rally is over. However, about 400 people are still on the square.

Procession of National Flag, October 10, 2015. Photo by Radio "Liberty"
Procession of National Flag, October 10, 2015. Photo by Radio "Liberty"
Procession of National Flag, October 10, 2015. Photo by "Nasha Niva"