Another tens of thousands of Belarusians on the streets and mass arrests

In Belarus again tens of thousands of people took to the streets to demonstrate against President Lukashenko. According to human rights organization Viasna, at least 136 people have been arrested in the capital Minsk. Protesters have also been arrested in Grodno, Brest and Vitebsk.

The protest in Minsk started quietly and peacefully.

Meanwhile, riot police are trying to disperse the protest at the presidential palace of Lukashenko in the centre of Minsk. Images circulating on social media show demonstrators being chased away with pepper spray. Telegram groups call for the police to be surrounded at the palace.

Many policemen wear balaclavas or helmets and have no insignia on their suits. In some cases demonstrators have tried to take off the agents’ face coverings.

The unrest in Belarus has been going on for a month and more after the presidential elections of 9 August. According to the official count, Lukashenko, who has ruled the country with an iron fist for 26 years, received 80 percent of the votes. The opposition claims that there has been widespread fraud. The EU and the US are also convinced of this.

Demonstrations against the election results were also held abroad today. Dozens of demonstrators gathered at the Belarusian embassy in Moscow. At Vredenburg in Utrecht, Dutch Belarusians protested against Lukashenko this afternoon.