Dozens held after legal protest in Minsk, many beaten by police Video Updated
At least 52 persons have been detained after a protest that was attended by some 3,000 people in Minsk last evening. Many detentions were marked by excessive use of violence on the part of the police. A witness says tear gas was used when unmarked men grabbed a protester after he got on a city bus.
According to observers, police officers in plain clothes followed some of the protesters after the demonstration was over. Human rights defender Valiantsin Stefanovich said after the protest that many demonstrators described as "anarchists" had their faces covered with scarves, which, he believes, could be viewed as a violaiton of restrictions on gatherings.
Several protesters have been detained following similar protests in Mahilioŭ and Hrodna. One of them was reportedly beaten by police officers.
According to latets reports, some detainees, including minors, were released late last night. Others will stand trials today, March 16, in the Courts of Pieršamajski, Centraĺny and Saviecki districts of Minsk.
Local human rights defenders say that 9 people will be tried in Mahilioŭ and at leats 3 protesters in Hrodna.