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Belarus: More than 150 arrests during protests against Alexander Lukashenko

Masked officials, tear gas, beatings: In Belarus, security forces are taking tough action against demonstrators critical of the government. More than 150 people have been taken into custody.

Mass protests against ruler Alexander Lukashenko have been taking place in Belarus for months. During the latest protests, masked security forces have now taken massive action against demonstrators, and in the capital Minsk, uniformed security forces have used tear gas and stun grenades against peaceful demonstrators, as videos on the news channel Telegram show. In this way, they disbanded individual rallies. Several people were injured.

The footage showed demonstrators running away from black uniforms or trying to prevent arrests. Again and again security forces beat people. Uniforms with assault rifles were seen on the streets. In the early afternoon, the human rights group Wesna spoke of more than 150 arrests. Several thousand people were in large groups in Minsk. Mobile internet was largely switched off, and again about 15 metro stations in Minsk were closed to prevent demonstrators from entering the city centre. The mobile internet was also largely switched off – this time already in the morning. This was to make it more difficult for the authorities to arrange meetings. In addition, several streets and squares were cordoned off, some with heavy equipment. In the capital many prisoner transporters could be seen.

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