Friday 24 March 2017 | 22:51

"Non-Parasites March": Detentions across the country, beatings of anarchists in Minsk (PHOTO)

16.03.2017  |  Society   |  Piotr Kuchta,  EuroBelarus
"Non-Parasites March": Detentions across the country, beatings of anarchists in Minsk (PHOTO)

The presence of several European high-ranking visitors in Minsk did not prevent the authorities from detaining and beating protesters in Hrodna, Mahileu and in the capital.

Authorities continue to detain activists just as Alexander Lukashenko said about "picking" the notorious "raisins" from a bun on the eve of the protest in Maladzechna on March 10. Let us recall, such opposition leaders as Anatol Liabedzka, Vital Rymasheuski and Yuras Gubarevich were arrested then. As the following events showed, it did not particularly affect the mood of the people discontented with the authorities. In any case, mass (by the Belarusian standards) protests in Ragachou, Vorsha, Brest and other cities took place without any leadership of the political activists.

The law enforcement agencies failed to stop the protest mood by March 15, despite preventive detentions in Minsk and in the regions, water cannons seen first in Minsk on Wednesday and a large number of prison trucks and buses with smoked glass.

 About 800 people took part in the protests in Hrodna, 500 in Mahileu, about 2,500 people marched along the streets of Minsk.

As one of the protesters put it, empty pockets united everyone: white-red-white flags, red flags with Soviet symbols, Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, United Civil Party, black and red flags of anarchists, red-green state flags and the flag of the USSR Navy fluttered over the demonstrators. Supporters of "Tell the Truth" campaign were carrying a black coffin with the inscription "Constitution 1994".

Participants of the action chanted "Shame!", "Lukashenka, go away!" and "Who is the main parasite? The president!".

The police did not interfere during the march, however, the abundance of people in civilian clothes clearly interested in the block of anarchists was conspicuous. The latter with their faces covered arranged a drum concert in front of the Kastrychnik movie theater, moved together, and after an improvised general rally they turned to other participants and journalists to help them safely get to the trolley bus stop, as they were obviously going to get detained right there. They managed to board the trollyebus, despite a short, but violent fight with "sportsmen" in civilian clothes. However the trolleybus was stopped at the "Belaja Vezha" casino, about 40 anarchist passengers were beaten and thrown into minibuses.

According to the human rights center "Viasna", young women named Yauheniya Prakopchik, Marina Dubina, Alena Dubovik, and Anastasia Ranko are among the detainees after the action authorized by the authorities. An ambulance car arrived at the Central Department of Internal Affairs approximately at 8:35 P.M. It is possible that one of the detainees was in need of medical assistance. The mother of one of the women reported that they were severely beaten. We learned the name of another detained woman from her - Yulia Filipava.

The number of the detainees since March 3 is already approaching two hundred. And it seems, the list will only grow – activists and politicians including Mikalai Statkevich and Uladzimir Niakliaeu, the organizers of the protest on March 25, are summoned to appear before the courts after the February protests.

The European Union called the Belarusian authorities to immediately release all detainees.

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