Freedom Day in Belarus: crackdown on mass protests, detentions

Riot police and protesters amid a rally in Minsk, Belarus on March 25. Credit: Radio Liberty

Riot police and protesters amid a rally in Minsk, Belarus on March 25. Credit: Radio Liberty 

Belarus, News

Today Belarus marks Freedom Day (Dzen Voli), an unofficial holiday to commemorate the creation of Belarusian People’s Republic in 1918. Rallies were held in Minsk, Brest, Homel, Hrodna and Vitsebsk. Authorities sanctioned the gatherings in the cities of Brest and Hrodna, but didn’t permit rallies in Minsk, Homel and Vitsebsk. Belarusian opposition leader Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu was detained yesterday.

Today about 700 demonstrators rallied in the center of the Belarusian capital Minsk to hold a banned anti-government protest amid a heavy riot-police presence, AP reports. Tut.by, a Belarusian news site, estimated the number of participants as “thousands.”

freedomdayen

The police amassed in Minsk amid rallies:

Protesters chanted “Shame on you!” and “Fascists” as police blocked roads leading to central Minsk, where the opposition supporters gathered to hold a march. According to Radio Liberty, riot police arrested dozens of people in Minsk. Belarusian Radio Liberty said, about 300 people have been detained today. Riot police arrested people in the center of Minsk in the areas of the Academy of Sciences, in the Yakub Kolas Square area, Kazlou Street, Masherau Avenue, and close to Surhanau Street, Kuzma Chorny Street, and Kalinin Square, Charter97 reports. Dozens of journalists have been among detainees.

The video of a woman with a historical white-red-white flag of Belarus being detained in Minsk:

The photographs show the Minsk rally and its crackdown today:

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Several hundred rallied in Brest, the march in the center of the city was permitted by local authorities for the first time in the last four years.

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 These protests follow after a month of rallies against the “social parasite tax,” which for the first time since the mid-90s involved people from different social stratas and took part in the province:
 parasitetax

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  • Njordheim

    The globalists tend to use what I call a “scattershot effect” when it comes to creating or managing chaos. They set the stage for multiple flashpoints around the world and wait to see which of them works and which of them fails. Not only this, but one successfully executed flashpoint has the ability to give birth to dozens of new flashpoints. They tend to spread, like a cancer. That said, some flashpoints are more dangerous than others.

    • Victor Victory

      Translation : “It’s the west fault for everything”
      Right kurva?

    • Mykola Banderachuk

      sounds like another conspiracy to me-how many conspiracies are there out there now? you work for moskva so you should know so please let me know.

      • Njordheim

        Facts are facts, weather you like them or not! Yugoslavia (Bosnia, Kosovo), Iraq, Syria, Lybia, Afghanistan, Ukraine… during the past 25 years Washington bankrupted America by creating chaos day after day!

        But Ukraps are are main conspiracy story tellers… you know … invisible Russian tanks…. Ukraine is in war with Russia, LOL … this kind of BS kept us laughing since 2014!

        • MichaelA

          yes facts are facts
          and the facts are that people all over the world reject your fascism
          you nazzis cant stand it but the people reject you
          too bad little boy
          and no you arent laughing
          because you know nazzi russia is losing

    • zorbatheturk

      Bogov, Farkov, and Zhaddap.

      • Njordheim

        Ukrap. Yak!

        • zorbatheturk

          Pepe Escobar is a kremlin stooge. His musings have the same value as rodent manure.

          • Njordheim

            Says the UkrNaZZi from Galicia – the most vile baboons in East Europe!

          • MichaelA

            and out the door goes your credibility with that comment
            people in belarus are protesting
            being a nazzi, you hate that
            you hate the people

    • MichaelA

      like all nazzis you dont think for a moment about the people
      you hate the people
      all you care about is oligarchs getting richer

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    With winter ending and temperatures rising these protests may well increase in both size and frequency. If Lukashenko wants to defuse the situation he will at the very least have to cancel the vagrancy tax altogether AND halt all construction work at Kurapaty. But that may no longer be nearly enough. Hopefully he will have more sense than Proffessor Viktor and refrain from shooting at the protesters. If THAT happens there’s no telling what might happen next.

  • zorbatheturk

    Freedom Day in Belarus? That one wins the Orwell Prize.

  • MichaelA

    so many white and red flags
    russia will be worried
    lukashenko is losing his touch