Minsk: 564 people were detained during the unauthorized protests held across Belarus on Sunday. The Vesna human rights centre, unregistered by the republic’s authorities, said.
Most of the detentions were made in the capital, Minsk. The Belarusian Interior Ministry has not yet released any information on detentions during the Sunday rallies.
Natalia Hanusevich, a spokeswoman for the police department of the Minsk City Executive Committee, told Sputnik on Sunday that law enforcement officers had to use water cannons and stun grenades against participants of an unauthorized rally in the Belarusian capital on Sunday. According to Hanusevich, over 20 protesters were detained.
Sputnik Belarus photojournalist Viktor Tolochko was detained twice on Sunday while covering the unsanctioned rally in Minsk. RIA Novosti correspondent Sergey Popov was also detained and released. Police said that the detentions were not actual arrests, but routine procedures to check documents.
Belarusian news portal tut.by reported citing a spokesperson of the Minsk city executive committee that administrative cases have started to be brought up against journalists detained during the Sunday protest.
On Sunday, Oleg Lavrukhin, the prosecutor of the city of Minsk, said that around 3,000 people have been arrested or fined in the Belarusian capital since the beginning of mass protests in August. The protests started after President Alexander Lukashenko secured his sixth term in the August 9 election, with the Belarusian opposition refusing to accept the results of the vote.