Minsk police bar disabled people from holding protest rally

Police detaining participants in March of People with Disabilities. 3 December 2020. Photo: Belsat.eu

On December 3, another March of People with Disabilities was to take place in Minsk.

In mid October, the first rally of such kind was held in the country: people with special needs, their families and friends joined protesting against police abuse and persecuting dissidents.

‘White-red-white views’: March of people with disabilities in Minsk (photo report)

The entrance to Chalyuskintsau Park on Independence Avenue was reported to be a meeting point was. However, according to Belsat journalists who were about to cover the macrh, when six persons showed up there, they were immediately dragged into police buses, even wheelchair users. One of the might-have-been participants had an asthma attack in the bus.

A bit later, all the detainees were released on condition that they would not gather again. The policemen also demanded they leave not in a group, but one by one. The protesters walked into a nearby cafe, but the police continued keeping watch on them.

The protest rallies in Belarus have been underway for nearly four months. The major demands are Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s resignation, holding a free and fair election, releasing political prisoners, putting an end to police violence as well as state-run TV stations’ providing people with unbiased and reliable information. According to human rights activists’ estimates, more than 29,000 people have been detained in Belarus since the election day; many of them were beaten or tortured, some were raped. There are at least seven death cases that are linked to the post-election protests. Hundreds are parties to criminal proceedings, the number of political prisoners exceeded 140.

100 days of Belarusian protest