About 250 people have reportedly been detained in Belarus in nationwide protests against presidential elections.
Protesters began to gather in different areas after a curfew was called in the Belarusian capital Minsk and other cities via social media.
In Minsk, in particular, demonstrators were asked to march to President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s residence and the Presidential Palace. The announcement also gave addresses to the homes of some senior bureaucrats, and some groups were directed to these areas.
Security forces have put in place strict security measures in different parts of the city. Intervening in groups of a small number of people who had taken to the main streets, the police detained some demonstrators and dispersed the groups. From time to time, there was a brawl between police and demonstrators.
Belarusian soldiers protected the Republic Palace and the Stella Monument, which were surrounded by barbed wire in Minsk, while military armored vehicles were also seen taking precautions in the places in question. Strict measures were also taken in the area near the Presidential Palace.
With thousands of people holding red-white-red flags that Belarus used before 1995, protesters gathered mainly on Nemiga Street and moved through Stella Square towards the presidential residence where Lukashenko lived.
The Belarusian Interior Ministry said in a statement that as of 15: 00, about 250 people who participated in the unauthorized demonstrations had been detained.
Protesters also took to the streets to demonstrate in the cities of Brest and Grodno, which are on the border with Poland.
Demonstrations began in Belarus on August 9 after current president Aleksandr Lukashenko won the presidential election, claiming that “the elections were rigged”. The protesters had demanded new elections, as well as constitutional changes in the country.