Over 200 peaceful protesters, journalists, rights defenders detained across Belarus
Some 200 peaceful protesters, as well as reporters and human rights defenders, were detained by the police over the weekend, as thousands of people protested the arrest of presidential nominee Viktar Babaryka and his son Eduard.
At least 120 people were detained following a series of demonstrations in Minsk on June 19, according to Viasna’s estimates. The Ministry of Internal Affairs said the protesters faced 270 charges, including alleged resisting arrest.
Apart from peaceful protesters, police held a dozen journalists working with tut.by, RFE/RL’s Belarus service, and onliner.by. All of them were eventually released without charges.
Some 30 more people were detained in other cities of Belarus, including Babrujsk, Homieĺ, Viciebsk, and Mahilioŭ.
In Babrujsk, police detained Viasna journalist and election observer Siarhei Latsinski, together with his wife Alesia.
Many detainees complained of excessive violence used by the plain-clothed police officers and uniformed riot policemen.
On June 20, police used violence to detain a dozen protesters in Hancavičy, including two journalists of the local newspaper Hancavicki Čas, Siarhei Bahrou and Aliaksandr Pazniak. The reporters were reportedly beaten.
The detentions continued on Sunday, as several protesters were detained in Viciebsk and Navahrudak. All of them faced charged of illegal protesting and are expected to stand trials in the coming days.