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More detentions across Belarus Updated

2017 2017-03-26T12:58:28+0300 2017-03-26T17:51:49+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
A police van waiting for detainees during a protest in Kastryčnickaja Square in Minsk. 26 March 2017

A police van waiting for detainees during a protest in Kastryčnickaja Square in Minsk. 26 March 2017

The police detained today around a dozen demonstrators in Minsk's Kastryčnickaja Square, as they protested against yesterday's violent dispersal of a peaceful assembly in the city center that was attended by thousands of people.

Viasna's human rights defender Tatsiana Reviaka was detained along with the protesters. A police bus is taking them to the nearest police department.

Meanwhile, dozens of people have been detained since last afternoon in various parts of Belarus, including journalists, opposition activists and human rights defenders. Some of them have been sentenced to short jail terms to prevent them from joining fresh protests this afternoon.

Opposition leader Uladzimir Niakliayeu, who was detained ahead of yesterday's protest, has reportedly suffered a hypertensic crisis and is currently receiving treatement at a hospital in Brest. Meanwhile, the whereabouts of another opposition politician, Mikalai Statkevich, who was expected to lead the Freedom Day demonstration, have been unknown since March 23.

UPD. Tatsiana Reviaka was eventually released without charges.

"A police van took us to the Centraĺny district police department of Minsk, where we were ordered to stand facing the wall and to raise our hands. Later, I was allowed to keep my hands down. We were kept for more than 3 hours this way. I counted about 20 people, mostly young men. Then they started taking pictures," the human rights defender said after her release.

She also said that a police officer asked her to sign a paper saying that she was administratevly charged. Reviaka refused to do so, since more than three hours had passed since her detention and no one explained what she was accused of.

Tatsiana Reviaka was then released along with two other women.

Other detainees remained at the police department, including a Belsat TV reporter Ales Zaleuski.

Meanwhile, Viasna's observers in the regions report numerous detentions before and after today's protests.

In particular, around 30 persons were detained in Babrujsk, including two journalists, Dzianis Nosau and Viktar Kachan.

Thirteen protesters were detained in Brest.

Human rights defender Siarhei Rusetski was briefly detained in Biaroza. However, he was soon released without charges.

Three human rights defenders, Kastus Mardzvintsau, Leanid Svetsik and Pavel Levinau, were detained in Viciebsk. The police also held Khrystafor Zhaliapau, local leader of the For Freedom opposition group.

Alena Hermanovich, a reporter for the BelaPAN new agency, was detained in Homieĺ.

Ryhor Kryvitski, an activist who organized a protest in Mazyr, was detained by the police and charged with violating restrictions on holding mass events.

A policeman filming protesters in Mazyr. 26 March 2017
A policeman filming protesters in Mazyr. 26 March 2017

Several people were detained in Orša, including Ihar Kazmerchak, editor of the website.

A number of opposition activists and a journalst were detained in Rečyca.

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