Belarus has begun legal proceedings against almost hundreds of people arrested in a massive nationwide crackdown during protests on Sunday against President Alexander Lukashenko’s government.
Vyasna, a Belarusian human rights centre, said on Monday that hearings had started at five district courts in Minsk, the capital, with the protesters facing up to 15 days jail on charges of hooliganism.
Almost 200 people were arrested in the capital Minsk during Sunday’s protests while another 80 were arrested in other parts of the country. including the regional centres of Grodno, Gomel and Mogilev, the human rights body said.
Responding to calls for a rally by an Internet-based group “Revolution through the Social Network”, the protesters defied warnings and state jamming of websites to turn out in reasonable numbers.
They sought to show their dissatisfaction with Lukashenko by clapping their hands. But police arrested anyone who joined in the applause, beating activists and firing tear gas, an AFP correspondent in Minsk said.
House in Belarus.
Zakoziel park entrance, Brest, Belarus.
Soviet mural in the Minsk Subway Station.
Victory obelisk, Minsk, Belarus.
Star-shaped entrance to the Brest Fortress WWII Memorial.
Great Patriotic War museum, Minsk, Belarus.
Victory Day parade in Minsk.
Belarusian partisans - M. Gerasimov (second from right) and commissioner V. Kunkov (second from left).
Victory Day celebrations in Minsk.