Belarus: police arrest hundreds at women's protest

Belarus: police arrest hundreds at women’s protest

MINSK | Belarusian riot forces arrested hundreds of people on Saturday during a women's march in Minsk against President Alexander Lukashenko.

About 2,000 women took part in the march, waving the white and red flag of the opposition. Police blocked the parade and arrested hundreds of protesters, according to an AFP journalist.

The demonstration was the latest in a series of women's mobilizations in Belarus to demand the departure of Mr. Lukashenko, in power for 26 years, after his re-election, which was deemed fraudulent last month.

Before the demonstration, the leader of the opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who had to take refuge in Lithuania, praised the “courageous women of Belarus”.

“They are demonstrating despite constant threats and pressure,” she said in a statement.

Among the women arrested was Nina Baguinskaya, 73, one of the best-known activists in the anti-Alexander Lukashenko protest movement. She was then released from a police station.

Ambulances were also on site to take care of people injured or who felt ill during the arrests.

The opposition is due to lead new massive protests in Belarus on Sunday.

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