Belarus protests kick off with detentions, police chases


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Belarus protests kick off with detentions, police chases 1
Belarus protests kick off with detentions, police chases 5

Security forces in Minsk detained 52 people on Sunday, a human rights watch group said, ahead of anti-government protests that have taken place every weekend since a disputed August election returned Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to power.

Videos shared by independent local media showed members of the security services armed with batons chasing after some individuals in a public square, then rounding them up and putting them into vehicles. Reuters was not able to independently verify the footage.

The Viasna Human Rights Centre, which is not registered in Belarus, said 52 people had been detained.

Russian news agency TASS cited a spokeswoman for the Minsk branch of the Belarus interior ministry, Natalya Ganusevich, as saying that around 10 people had been detained.

As has become the norm in Minsk ahead of protest days, mobile phone internet services were disrupted, some main streets were closed and several metro stations in the city center were shut. On Sunday, this included all four metro stations of a new line that had only opened on Saturday.


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