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26 Sep, 2020 15:02

‘Run of the Free’ athletes prove too slow for Belarusian police as several jogging anti-Lukashenko protesters detained (VIDEO)

‘Run of the Free’ athletes prove too slow for Belarusian police as several jogging anti-Lukashenko protesters detained (VIDEO)

The Belarus opposition keeps coming up with unconventional ways to protest against long-time President Alexander Lukashenko. This time a group staged a spontaneous athletics event in Minsk – but they could not outrun the law.

Some 35 athletes took part in the ‘Run of the Free,'held at the capital’s Friendship of the Peoples Park on Saturday. A charity event, the goal of the jaunt was to raise money for foundations that support the anti-government protesters.

But from the very starting point, the participants were followed by a minivan packed with police. Of course, outrunning a moving vehicle is an impossible task even for the most well-trained athlete, and copscaught up with the runners and made arrests.

A police spokeswoman confirmed that “several people” involved in the ‘Run of the Free’ were detained for taking part in the unsanctioned event.

Later on Saturday, another all-female march against Lukashenko took place in Minsk. The police blocked access to the Pobeda (Victory) Square, which was chosen as a venue for the unauthorized action, forcing the women to protest elsewhere in the city. Several dozen demonstrators were detained during the march, local media reported.

Among those arrested were three Belarusian journalists, who, according to the witnesses, had their ‘press’ vests on. The police said they were brought to the station so that their credentials could be checked.

Larger-scale protests are also planned for Sunday. Opposition activists plan to hold a “people’s inauguration” of former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in response to the secret induction staged by Lukashenko for himself earlier this week.

Also on rt.com 'So-called inauguration': EU joins US in rejecting legitimacy of Lukashenko's controversial new presidential mandate in Belarus

While Lukashenko claimed a landslide win with more than 80 percent of the vote, in last month's election, Tikhanovskaya’s supporters say the election was rigged and that she was robbed of victory. She fled Belarus for Lithuania following the contest.

The crisis sparked an eruption of massive protests across the country. Police responded to the dissent with mass arrests, detaining thousands of protesters in the weeks since the election, while facing accusations of using excessive force against demonstrators and mistreating detainees.

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