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Belarusian police make almost 200 arrests as Minsk & other cities play host to more large anti-Lukashenko protests (VIDEOS)

Belarusian police make almost 200 arrests as Minsk & other cities play host to more large anti-Lukashenko protests (VIDEOS)
Around 200 people were detained on Sunday as the Belarusian capital, Minsk, and other cities hosted rallies, during which the opposition held a “people’s inauguration” of exiled presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

The action was called in response to the secret induction staged by long-time President Alexander Lukashenko earlier this week. Tikhanovskaya won’t be attending the protest, as she fled Belarus for Lithuania after the August 9 election, which the opposition insists was rigged.

Thousands marched along Independence Avenue in Minsk, despite security forces thoroughly preparing for the unsanctioned event and urging people to stay at home. Mobile internet speed  was reduced in the capital. A local mobile operator said it was ordered to do so by the government. It was likely done to complicate communication among demonstrators.

The city’s largest squares were blocked off, with seven metro stations in the center also shut down. A convoy of armored vehicles was also spotted outside Lukashenko’s heavily guarded residence.

Music was played from loudspeakers along the route of the march to drown out the chants of the demonstrators, calling for Lukashenko’s immediate resignation and a new, fair election.

Police say that almost 200 people were arrested in Minsk and other cities where protests took place on Sunday. 

The protests in Belarus have been marred by mass arrests from the very start, with thousands of anti-government demonstrators detained in the weeks since the election. Police have also been accused of using excessive force against demonstrators and mistreating detainees. Three protesters have been killed during the unrest, according to official data, with hundreds, including many officers, wounded.

Also on rt.com Days after inauguration, Belarusian police use tear gas & flashbang devices against anti-Lukashenko protesters in Gomel (VIDEO)

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