Police detain participants of cycling event in Minsk
At least six people were reportedly detained last evening over their involvement in the Critical Mass cycling event in Minsk.
About 35 cyclists gathered in central Minsk to take part in a social event that was aimed at ‘reclaiming the streets’. The event was observed by a representative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee.
The cyclists were moving along the road, but were soon cut up by a police bus. As a result, at least six people were detained, including the BHC observer. The detainees were reportedly thrown into the bus, forced to face the floor, and suffered blows in their stomachs and faces. The bicycles were thrown on top of the detainees, who were then brought to the district police department.
Police press-service has not confirmed the detention. It is known that one of the detainees, Dmitry Pakhomov, is a citizen of the Russian Federation. Police officers also detained Aliaksei Adamovich, Stas Baretski, and Aliaksei Kruhlakou.
“This has never happened before. There was a brutal detention before the election: a couple of road policemen, a riot police bus. Today it’s some hunting!” says one of the participants in the bike ride.
By midnight, the detainees had been released after facing administrative charges. Two cyclists refused to do so and were probably taken to the detention center.