Proponents of changes were planning to hold a large protest rally in Minsk on March 27. In the morning the police brought special equipment to the city center.
The Interior Ministry of Belarus has reported that more than 100 people had been detained all over the country for violation of public order. As was stated by official representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Volha Chamadanava, those detained were taken to the local departments of the Interior Ministry.
According to her, they were detained for various types of violations of public order, including solitary pickets. At the same time, according to the Interior Ministry, “not a single unauthorized mass event” has been registered in the country, and “protest activity is close to zero”.
“A small number of groups with unregistered symbols were spotted in Minsk, some protesters were taken to the territorial offices of internal affairs for investigation. Information about mass arrests, particularly near Bangalore Square, is not true, as well as the information about the blocking of traffic near Kastrychnitskaya Square,” said Volha Chamadanava.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs also reports detaining people “with stabbing and cutting objects and guns” in Minsk. One of the detained men was near Pushkinskaya metro station where he was found to be carrying a “gas pistol and a flare gun,” ammunition, “a laser pointer and a folding knife”. According to the Interior Ministry, a 35-year-old man was detained in Brest in a state of intoxication “with an axe in his backpack”.
In turn, the independent human rights center “Viasna” reports about at least 245 people detained nationwide during the protests marking the Freedom Day. The list is being updated.