Protester goes on hunger strike following arrest in Minsk`s Kastrychnitskaya Square

2011 2011-10-24T12:13:45+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

Opposition activist Alyaksandr Valantsevich has gone on hunger strike in the detention center on Akrestsina Street in Minsk following his arrest during a demonstration in central Kastrychnitskaya Square on Friday evening. 

Mr. Valantsevich began a fast to protest his arrest, which he considers to be illegal, human rights defender Anastasiya Loyka told BelaPAN

His trial is expected to be held in the Tsentralny District Court on October 24, she said. 

A dozen people, mostly activists of an opposition group called European Belarus, gathered in the central square at about 7 p.m. on Friday to demand freedom for the political prisoners. 

Mr. Valantsevich was apprehended after he had produced a megaphone. When he began to make a speech, policemen in civilian clothes attacked him. 

According to Ms. Loyka, opposition activists Maksim Vinyarski, Andrey Malchan and Ihar Kudlayew, who were arrested ahead of the demonstration, were released by the police at around 8 p.m. after being questioned as alleged witnesses to some offenses. Fyodar Mirzayanaw, who was taken to a hospital with a severe headache after being arrested at his home, was also freed after the demonstration.