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Police use stun grenades & water cannons during anti-Lukashenko protests in Belarus, multiple journalists detained (VIDEOS)

Police use stun grenades & water cannons during anti-Lukashenko protests in Belarus, multiple journalists detained (VIDEOS)
Over 20 journalists were reportedly detained across Belarus, on Sunday, while covering mass anti-government demonstrations. In the capital, the rallies were met with a strong police response, with water-cannon, again, deployed.

Tens of thousands gathered in the capital, Minsk, for a procession called ‘The March of Pride’, which was scheduled to kick off at 2pm local time. Police soon began detaining protesters, multiple news outlets reported, with some saying that pepper spray and stun grenades were used. 

The scenes came just a day after incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko met with a number of jailed opposition figures in a Minks prison. They included Viktor Babariko, who was disqualified from the August election. His assistant, Maria Kolesnikova, subsequently became one of three women who headed the protest movement in its infancy. 

News website TUT.BY reported that plainclothes individuals were assisting riot police during confrontations with activists.

Other videos posted on social media showed water cannon being deployed against the protesters.

Meanwhile, photos shared online suggested that several people were injured.

With protests taking place all across the country, the local journalists’ association said that over 20 reporters, including some from Russia, were detained by police.

Separately, Moscow news agency TASS said that four of its reporters were taken to a police station. Two of them were released after officers had verified their IDs, but they were later detained again.

Also on rt.com Belarus’ Lukashenko meets JAILED opposition activists, talks constitutional reform

Large-scale protests in Minsk and other cities across the country started after President Alexander Lukashenko was accused by the opposition of rigging the August 9 presidential election in order to secure a sixth term in office.

Lukashenko’s chief opponent, on the day, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, now exiled in the European Union, claimed that she actually received the majority of the vote. A statement which is impossible to verify. Since then, she has met a number of Western leaders and is regarded as the 'legitimate' president by Lithuania. 

Lukashenko has insisted that the election results were accurate and claimed the protests were incited by foreign governments. They have been met with a heavy police response. Some led to clashes, resulting in multiple arrests.

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