600 detained in violent dispersal of Sunday protests
Some 600 people were detained following yesterday’s protests held in Minsk and other cities of Belarus. Most of them were arrested in the capital during the violent dispersal of a peaceful gathering in central Minsk in the afternoon and a series of smaller protests held in the city’s districts in the evening.
Water cannons and non-lethal weapons were used to disperse peaceful protesters. Several people were reportedly injured after riot police used stun grenades and fired rubber bullets without any advance warning. Many protesters were brutally beaten despite not resisting arrest.
Hundreds of detainees were taken to district police departments and are expected to stand trials on charges of “illegal protesting” and “disobeying demands from police officers.”
At least 26 reporters were detained. According to the Interior Ministry, all of them were charged with disobedience to the police.